BEHOLD SHADOWMAN, PLANTER OF PINES!
Last week, I noticed middle school kids roaming the halls with these pine seedlings. Each pine pup was in a ziploc bag with planting instructions attached.
When I asked one girl about the source of the baby pines, the response was, "Huh, I don't know, ... the FFA teacher was giving them out. What do we do with them?"
"Well, you take them home and plant them."
"I don't want to do that."
"Well, why did you take one?"
"They were free."
"If you really don't want it, don't throw it away. Give it to me and I will plant it for you and provide it a good home."
She handed me the pine and bounded away into a nearby classroom.
In a few minutes, about 3 other kids from that class zipped over and gave me their pine orphans.
Florida's Arbor Day falls earlier than the National Arbor Day due to our climate, so I believe the Ag teacher had presented an Arbor Day lesson that day and the free pine pups were a nice touch to the lesson.
I took them home and planted them around the bare skeleton of a massive turkey oak that just up and died on my about two years ago. The soil is good there and the leafless turkey oak no longer shades the ground, so I'm predicting good times ahead for these young longleaf pines.