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Digging holes, spreading wood chips, singing: adds up to Arbor Day in Myrick Park



A hands-on demonstration of tree planting brought kids and grownups to La Crosse’s Myrick Park on Friday, for the city’s 33rd annual Arbor Day celebration. 

A red bud tree was being planted near the park entrance, and retiring city arborist Wyatt Wolfe asked kindergarteners for advice on digging a hole.

“How deep do we go?” asked Wolfe. “Do we go to China?”  That led some kids to excitedly chant “Chi-na, Chi-na” before a shallow hole was dug.  Then, they got to spread wood chips, and look for worms.

This year is the 150th anniversary of the founding of Arbor Day in the U.S., with its roots in Nebraska.

Wolfe asked the students from First Lutheran School about how far apart trees should be planted, so their roots can spread.

“Because the tree needs to be planted at the right height, because do all roots go straight down?” he asked. When Wolfe heard some answer “yes,” he responded “No, roots go out. That’s how they get a firm foundation.” Wolfe says a tree’s roots can grow out about two-and-a-half times its height.

Mayor Mitch Reynolds was on hand to issue an Arbor Day proclamation in the city, and the kindergarteners helped water the newly-planted tree and spread wood chips around it. They also sang a song about how you plant a tree.


A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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