Date of trip: 28 March 2021

Participants: Rita Worden
Bill Gee
Kayla Heady
Charles Heady
Alexander Heady
David Heady

Rita Worden’s trip report

Many thanks to Kayla Heady and her crew for their help planting the little baby trees at the Pic Walenta Memorial Campground at Carroll Cave! The planting was easy enough, but the camping, campfire-ing, sleeping(what sleeping?) and just plain thinking were challenging due to near gale force winds the entire time. With Bill Gee’s help we planted 11 bald cypress near the frog pond, 25 red cedars for a wind break (ohh yeah) and 10 white oaks for shade. We also did some collective thinking-out-loud as to the location for the pavilion. After we left Bill mowed around the cedars and I returned w/ tomato cages for the oaks and some Deer-Off to discourage browsing by our Long Horn friends. I hope it works and will be returning on Friday to check on it all.

Bill Gee’s trip report

This work day was organized by Rita Worden with the goal of planting a bunch of trees. The trees are one of the easier improvements planned for the Pic Walenta Memorial Campground. We had a few other things to do, but in the end did not have enough help.

Everyone arrived by late afternoon on Saturday 27 March. It was a warm, sunny and rather windy day. The field was a bit damp from rain over the previous two weeks, but not enough to cause any problems. The wind did not die down, so the tents were rattling all night.

The wind was from the northwest which should have been perfect for the orientation of the windbreak. We started a fire, but found that the wind was just swirling around inside the windbreak. There was no way to get out of the smoke of the fire, and it really did not break the wind very much either.

Sunday morning we planted about 40 seedling-size trees that Rita provided. The trees had no root ball and were only 10 to 14 inches high. The weather was clear and sunny but the wind was still blowing and the temperature stayed in the 50s.

The trees are a mix of cedar, bald cypress and white oak. We planted a line of cedar trees going south from the silo for several hundred feet. The bald cypress trees were planted around the frog pond. The white oak trees were planted in a broad arc around the east side of the general area.

The white oak trees were given a dose of “root improver”, which is basically a liquid fertilizer. The cedar trees do not need this, and the bald cypress trees are too close to the frog pond. We did not want to get fertilizer into the pond.

Once we got rolling, the planting went quickly. Rita marked locations. Charles dug a hole. Bill knocked apart the shoveled dirt with a mattock and Kayla placed the seedling.

All of the trees are marked with a stick flag. The white oak trees are also marked with tomato cages to protect them from the cattle. Rita forgot the tomato cages, so she made a trip home and back after lunch Sunday.

After planting the trees, we talked for a while about where to locate the pavilion. We laid out one potential location and flagged the corners. See photo below. It is not a great location because one corner is higher than the others. It would have to be dug down so far that a small retaining wall would be required in that corner of the slab. We checked a few other spots, and decided that a location about where I parked my camper would be just about right. Since my camper was there, we did not flag it.

The locations we chose are not final. We set these up to be straw men, subject to much discussion and almost certain to be changed. The three main criteria are 1) fairly level and higher ground, 2) Far enough from the trees we just planted and 3) within a hundred feet or so of the power pole.

The Headys left at lunch time along with Rita. While waiting for Rita to return with the tomato cages, Bill got out the red lawn mower and mowed down the grass around the cedar trees.

Rita returned about 3:00pm with tomato cages and deer repellant. We set the tomato cages around the white oak trees and tied a piece of flagging tape to each one to make it more visible. Rita went around and sprayed deer repellant on all of the trees.

Rita said she would try to get back to the silo in a couple of weeks to see how things are going. She plans to bring a lopper to cut down some brambles and honey locust trees.

Location of bald cypress trees
This photo shows the location of some of the bald cypress trees. Photo by Bill Gee.
Red cedar sapling.
One of the red cedar saplings. Photo by Bill Gee.
Line of cedar trees.
The flags in this photo mark the location of about 20 red cedar trees. Photo by Bill Gee.
Proposed pavilion location
The four people in this photo are standing at the corners of a proposed 20×30 foot pavilion. Photo by Bill Gee.