Planting a tree as a form of social dedication is a wonderful way to honor not only what the tree is desired to represent on a social level, but to also honor the importance of what the tree will provide to the world through its lifetime. Trees take many years of growth to reach their version of "adulthood," and they are a symbol of longevity, tranquility, and life itself. Trees can literally save lives through the shade they produce, provide shelter for birds and small animals, and add much to the appearance of the landscape. Honoring the planting of la new tree through ceremony is an excellent way of honoring the tree, a living creature.
Send out invitations to those you desire to be present at the tree ceremony, and mention you will be holding a picnic after the tree planting ceremony. Ask those who plan to attend to bring one food item to share with the group.
Write one or two honorary poems and speeches about why you are planting the tree, what the tree planting means to your group and humanity, and perhaps how the tree will make the world a better place.
Recite the poems and speeches at the beginning of the ceremony. Ask those attending to offer simple statements of appreciation for trees and what they would hope for the future of the new tree's existence. Allow each person an opportunity to say something in contribution.
Instruct each attendee to use the shovel and to take a small portion of soil from where the tree will be planted, transferring the removed soil onto a pile. As the ceremony leader, you may take the first "bite" of soil from where the tree will be planted, and this will also serve as a guide for each attendee in what to do.
Pour about 1/2 gallon of water into the hole and allow the soil to absorb the water. Allow each attendee to mix one handful of mulch with one handful of soil and let them place the mixture into the hole, gently tamping it. Allow each member to do so, carefully monitoring the process so the soil isn't packed too tightly.
Close out the ceremony as desired and then ask those in attendance to join with you in participating in the post-ceremony picnic.
It will be up to you to provide any necessary tables and benches for use during the picnic. Try to procure the necessary number of chairs and tables necessary based on the number of people who are planning to attend the ceremony and have these items set up before the ceremony begins.
Kurt Schanaman has had several editorials printed by the Star-Herald Newspaper publication in Western Nebraska. He attended Western Nebraska Community College.