Houston, TX (February 13, 2013) – About 130 volunteers planted 1,300 trees in less than 2½ hours at a 12.5 acre stormwater detention basin in north Houston. The new trees support a flood damage reduction infrastructure as well as create a shade canopy that decreases maintenance costs, improve water quality and support local habitat. The basin holds about 35 million gallons of stormwater that might otherwise flood homes and businesses located downstream along the Greens Bayou.
The competition was part of the Texas Urban Forestry Council’s 2013 Arbor Day Tree Planting Competition and sponsored by the Houston Area Urban Forestry Council, the Harris County Flood Control District and the Texas A&M Forest Service.
The Flood Control District provided pines, oaks, elms, bald cypress and other species for the competition. A dozen 11-member teams in professional, amateur and youth divisions competed to see which team could plant 100 trees in the shortest amount of time.
Each 11-member team—10 diggers and one captain–was assigned 100 trees in 5-gallon containers, a large mound of mulch, and a designated area. Teams worked against the clock to plant the trees, according to established guidelines for correct hole depth and size, proper mulching, and other factors. Only hand tools were allowed.
Following the competition, there are plans to plant several hundred additional trees and shrubs at the bottom and along the slopes of the basin. The Flood Control District, which maintains more than 130 stormwater detention basins in the county, will maintain the trees for two years while they establish roots.