It was 10 years ago this May that the first trees were planted by Manordale School kids. The first few years were quite hard on the trees. Some got smothered by the grass, some were girdled by field mice, and some just failed to thrive in their new location. Other trees arrived, either as volunteers or as new transplants. As the years have passed the survivors have established themselves and I have grown to know many of these trees as individuals. Each spring I nervously check to see who was attacked by the darned field mice over winter. I haven't noticed any girdled trees so far this year which would be a first if it holds up. Sometimes the girdling is hidden by grass until later in the summer when the drier conditions make the lack of connection to the roots much more apparent.
10 years of watching this area develop has given me an appreciation of how slowly mother nature can move. Even violets, a nuisance that spreads all over the garden and lawn at home don't spread quickly once you let Mother Nature be the gardener. The violets in the above picture have basically stuck to the same location where I first noticed them 10 years ago. The clump is a bit bigger, but they haven't spread more than a few meters. The trilliums I rescued over a decade ago are still exactly where I planted them. I understand why people are instructed to not pick the trilliums; the great glades of trilliums you can see in the woods each spring are probably the product of centuries of growth. I don't think the little patch I planted can sustain even the odd rabbit who comes by each spring to see if trilliums are tasty.
This spruce tree is one of the surviving seedlings planted by the kindergartners 10 years ago. The child is probably as tall as this sapling now.