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Joyful Tree Adventures in Southern California
The SoCal ETT rests after planting

The Southern California Embracing The Trees crew

The Southern California (SoCal) Embracing The Trees (ETT) Team has been enjoying lots of tree planting opportunities as we build our team spirit to join Amma’s pledge to support the UN’s Trillion Tree campaign! We have many enthusiastic members, some who are very knowledgeable and others who are learning as we go. Peter Ash, who has been advising Amma’s gardeners at her ashrams and centers around the world for many decades, trained some gardeners on our team to plant different varieties of trees on a devotee’s 10 acre property in Santa Ysabel.

Over 200 trees, including grape vines and apple trees, were planted on the property over the course of several weekends with the help of Daya, Surya, Sandra, Anahita, Jonah, Laura, Madhava, Theresa, Nandan, Santhosh, Corina, and Chris. Peter was on hand to train the group on how to plant the trees to ensure the greatest chance of their success. We began the planting with chanting of the Dhyana Shloka to invoke the grace and blessings of our beloved Guru.

As gophers are quite prevalent in the area, gopher baskets were inserted around the root balls before placing them in the ground. Jonah, Madhava and Santhosh were on hand to build a nursery on the property as well. Now that all the trees are in the ground, we can start propagating trees and planting seeds in the nursery.

Praying, Planting, Planted
Praying, Planting, Planted

Our SoCal team has also made some happy partnership connections with other tree planting entities, including the Amplify Urban Forests group (a project of a CALFire grant), who sponsored a tree planting event at the UCSD campus. A number of our team showed up with other community members to plant 65 trees that day, including Theresa, Tripti, Madhava, Santhosh, Laura, Ajit, Corina, Chris, and Thushara. We planted Camphor, Oak and Japanese Blueberry among other species. We enjoyed demonstrations by Mike Hogan, the UCSD arborist, who gave an informational presentation about trees and their biology, including a demonstration on how to plant them.

After the event (which included free t-shirts celebrating Amplify Urban Forests, hats, gloves, sunglasses, a raffle and even guitar music!), Mike Hogan offered the empty 15 gallon pots for Santhosh to use in the nursery when we plant new saplings and seeds.

We meet bimonthly to discuss our progress and future plans. One of our members, Rosa, has contacted her daughter, an arborist, to talk to us about Redwood trees at one of our meetings, as it is her area of expertise. We are considering the option of using our meetings as educational opportunities, especially after the planting season slows down.

It’s all TREEly joyful!

The Southern California Embracing The Trees Team

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