PLANTING THE SEED
Tree Planting Initiative
As The Lodge at Woodloch grows as a business and the footprint of our infrastructure increases, it is inevitable that the woodland areas cut and cleared to fulfill the needs of our guests will have an impact on the ecosystem. In the Fall of 2021, we began a regenerative initiative to revitalize any areas affected from the property expansion. As stewards of this land, we’ve made it our duty to install plants to boost the health of the system and leave it stronger and more resilient than it was before. Our tree planting initiative has no set requirement for the number of trees planted each season, but we do have the ultimate aim to utilize every piece of land fit for plantings in such a manner.
The purpose of these plantings is multifaceted. The short-term goal is to rehabilitate areas on our property that have been changed by our built environment. Water run-off from parking lots, patios, and roofs has eroded gullies, filled low lying areas with increased moisture, and left those areas to struggle. Understanding these changes is crucial. Our planting team has observed these changes and are beginning to plant trees and shrubs that can not only withstand those elements, but also thrive. In doing so, sections of land that may be suffering can start to be re-shaped back into their original form with the added benefit of more diverse plantings
The selection of plants typically takes on a layered approach. While making decisions, our team works to choose plants that serve several functions. Native plants typically always make it to the top of the list but are not the end of the road. Our process includes projects aimed to create a beautiful surrounding, boost wildlife habitat, and provide food for pollinators, critters, as well as ourselves.
Fast results can be achieved by the purchase of nursery stock, but our farmers enjoy the long approach that comes with planting from seed. In doing so we can look at the thriving plants around us for help. Finding specimens in the region and collecting their seeds brings a bit of storytelling to each new tree planted. It also allows us to essentially produce hundreds of trees with very little capital investment. Our 2021 installment included Seedling Pears collected from fruits harvested by a server at his own residence, Northern Catalpa from our landscaper’s favorite spot for foraging wild grapes (we’ve got grape seedlings too!), and a chestnut orchard from nuts collected from a tree in The Sanctuary.
Fall 2021 Planting (nearly 45 trees planted, plus companions)
Spring 2022 Planting
Our 2022 season is underway, and work has already begun on this year's planting projects. Roughly 60 hazelnuts are to be planted within our orchard fence to provide meals to our local squirrels and chipmunks. In a perfect world this gives them all they can eat so they keep their hands off our precious fruits! A path has been cut to house what we refer to as “The Paw Paw Path”. By Fall we will be planting an estimated 100 Paw Paws, a tropical fruit native to the region with a flavor beyond compare. Our privacy hedges will be beefed up and swamp loving plants allocated to areas in need of repair from run-off. Lastly, a designated area to include a tree of each species planted (including last year) will compile into a sort-of “tree museum” to showcase the initiative in a central location.