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December 25 1963 was a day stamped in my mind forever.  I grew up in a large family with a modest income.  Christmas was the one holiday my parents always seemed to celebrate the most.  As I reflect back on my childhood,  1963 was the most enjoyable holiday  that I can remember.  I never asked my mother where her inspiration came from.  She had never done this before. She made bread, candy, cookies, and pies. She went out in the country and dug up a (desert ) tree of some sort and decorated it with pop corn, cranberries, and home made tree decorations.  I do not recall the wrapped gift that I received back then,  except a priceless memory, that I will cherish for years to come. Let's plant some memories for Father's Day!

Step 1: Trees

Why not plan a family outing? Take a picnic lunch, blanket, shovel, bucket, and camera!  This time you will be looking for  a native tree to give Dad for Father's Day. Trees offer shade and shelter from the weather and reduce resources which saves money. Trees are good for the environment.  Dig up a few trees or gather seeds to take home and plant. It is rewarding to plant the seeds or seedlings and watch them grow. After  the children have move away, and  return to their home town, the house they used to live in  . . .  may be gone,  but that tree is still there! It is amazing how a thing like a tree can trigger memories that have been sleepy for many years.   

Do a Google search for Native trees in your area and make sure you are not inviting a headache. My husband brought a bush from the ranch to their town home. It thrived there and became a huge problem. He was the one that finally got rid of it forty years later! It helps to know as much as you can about native trees.  They are usually easier to grow because they grow in the wild.  If planting seeds you might check and see if they need a few weeks of hard frost to grow. Find out how much water they need.  Many people water too much.  It is important to water deep and less often to prevent the roots from growing where they can cause damage.  If you water deep the roots won't usually grow above ground.  

You might plant three trees in a cluster for a nice appeal.  Consider planting fruit trees if you like to preserve fruit for the winter months.  If you are paying for water you might as well get some benefits from it.  Choose tall trees that will shade the roof of your house in the summer.  This will cut down on your cost as well as resources.  

When digging up the seedlings dig deep so you get all the root.  You can estimate to go a little deeper than the height of the seedling above the ground.  This does not hold true with the pecan tree.  It has very deep roots as you can see.

 Another thing to consider would be the rate of growth and life expectancy.  I read  Cyprus trees are shallow rooted and only live about 8-10 years.  I would prefer a tree that lives longer.  A problem with them is high winds can blow them over.  

You might consider digging up several seedlings to plant in case one dies or you don't get a long enough root.  

Planting trees for summer shade can increase water usage but it does not have to if  . . . you plant native trees.  Native trees tolerate the conditions of their environment much better.  Planting fruit trees is a good option to consider.  



 

Step 2: Supplies and Tools

Tree seedlings or seeds and a paper cup not shown in picture.
Several containers to decorate
Empty Pringles can optional
Needle nose pliers
Black marker pen if using the Pringles can
Spray paint  (I used several colors) you may use Slick paint to decorate cans.
Small bowl water
Newspaper for protecting surface
Large spoon for scooping dirt
2 Plastic bags  if using a Pringles can
Two sided tape if using Pringles can
Caulking gun and caulk    Will be used for sharp edges on the can
Plastic bottle carrier  packaging  optional 
Small flat plastic knife or Popsicle stick
 
Shovel
Bucket or container to store the tree and seeds in until use
Water to water trees

Picnic  lunch optional

Step 3: Caulking the Rim

Parents this step is not recommended for kids. Please note that cans have sharp edges and should be kept out of the reach of anyone that may cut their fingers on the can. It is possible that the caulk might wear off in time,  exposing sharp edges. Use a different container if this may concern you. You are at your own risk if you make this craft using a can with sharp edges.  

Use the pliers to flatten the sharp edges of the can
Place a heavy layer of caulking around the can to cover the sharp edges  
Use a Popsicle stick or plastic knife to spread the caulk evening around the can
Smooth with a pinch of  water
Allow to dry before painting the can


Step 4: Painting the Container

Paint the can or container or cover with paper or other desirable materials
Place a small piece of plastic bag over the Pringles man and outline him with the marker
Cut it out
Place tape on the outline of the man on the can
Tape the plastic wrapper over the tape to prevent the man from getting painted. See bottom note
Paint the can

The kids can decorate the cans with their pictures or embellish them with craft items you have on hand

Next time I will draw a circle slightly larger than the man and tape the circle to the can over the image
Then paint the can and remove the plastic wrap.  Then using the marker color the cans markings that I don't want to show
View image on last page to see what I mean

Step 5: Planting the Tree or Seeds

Fill each can slightly more than half full with potting soil (unless planting seeds)
Poke a hole in the center of the soil with your finger
Carefully place the tree in the hole and cover with more soil leaving plenty of room at the top to water
The can is used for decoration purposes until the tree is planted permanently
Seedlings may go into shock but this is normal.  Keep the soil damp and they should be fine as long as you got plenty of root.
Scoop dirt into a plastic bag and place it in the Pringles can.  This will make it easier to clean up to use for something else after the tree is planted.

If planting seeds fill a paper cup with soil 3/4 the way full
Wet soil
Place several seeds over the soil and slightly press down over the seeds with your finger
Lightly cover with soil
Keep the soil damp
Transplant within a few days by planting the entire contents of the paper cup in the hole where you want the tree.

You can use the plastic carrier handle for transporting the seedlings or for display

Step 6: Sunshiine's Final Thoughts

My husband will park 3 blocks away from a store's entrance in the middle of the winter to park under a shade tree.  A few years ago he planted trees lining the driveway,  backyard trees to shade his sawhorses, I counted 5 work stations because he follows the shade,  and has his own private shade tree on the curb!   The down side  is the horses are an eyesore but the upside is I will have a beautiful home and yard when he is finished!  I will soon have a sewing and craft room with great lighting for my Instructables.  I will also have a place to store seasonal items!  

The kids could paint flat rocks with their names and date on them,  and  place them  under the trees. If mom or dad ever move they can bring the rocks to their new home.  

The entire family will remember the day they planted Trees!  You will appreciate the shade in a few years as well as the extra savings on your utility bills.  Your children will thank you for all the memories shared at the family home under the trees.   The cans will be a nice container to hold pens and small office items. The Pringles can will make an awesome pasta  canister. 

 I hope this Instructables has inspired you to plant a few memories!  Have a cool summer!  
Sunshiine
That's a really nice idea Sunshiine! Trees and such last much longer than some cheesy Father's Day gift. <br> <br>Glad to have you back. ;-)
You are so right! It also gives the kids something to do and learn. Thanks for commenting. I am so happy to be back.<br>Sunshiine

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Bio: I am married with two children. Spring, summer, and fall are my very favorite times of the year. I love the sunshine thus the reason ... More »
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