We planted some trees this morning. Volunteers from work planted something close to 1000 small sapling pine trees as part of some national community service day. The trees, a water tank (old equipment donated by one of the segments), and yesterday's labor were donated as the company's gift to the city this year. We were actually supposed to plant them last week, but it was delayed to line-up with yesterday's larger service day (which was good because last Saturday was cold and rainy). All the holes were pre-dug and we probably had 50+ people from work there plopping the trees in and then filling them with dirt and then watering. Afterwards, we had lunch featuring plov with lamb along with some bread and salad.
It was a good day and a good chance to get out from behind the desk. However, like so many things here, it was a promising idea (planting trees) with an uncertain outcome. The climate here is rather unforgiving with temperatures that go from well below freezing in the winter to well over 40 degC in the summer with very little precipitation. And while we watered the trees this morning, the question is how often will anyone water them in the future. These pine trees normally grow in climates that have wet winters and while this past winter here was unusually wet, it was not normal. Furthermore, the soil quality was very poor. A good portion of the trees were hard to plant (even with holes already made) because of how rocky and sandy the dirt was. A year from now, how many of these trees will still be alive? There are the same type of trees in the base, but they are in much better soil and watered nearly every single day. The trees we planted are at the edge of town, actually, beyond the edge of town a few km out, and who will take the time to monitor them and water them. Perhaps it'll work out just fine, but it's worth a visit back there in a year to see how well, or not, the trees are doing.