Smith Elementary School students lend city a hand to plant trees


    The hole must be twice the size of the tree's roots.

    The tree's roots must be level with the ground.

Kids say the darndest things.

And that was true Friday.

"It looks like a giant chocolate donut with something in the middle," said Damon Leonard, a fourth-grader from Smith Elementary School.

He was referring to the tree he helped plant at Fire Station No. 2. He and 15 others from the Students for Environmental Awareness Club at Smith Elementary helped the city plant two trees on Friday.

The tree-planting ceremony allowed the city to teach kids how to plant, while demonstrating why Victoria was named a Tree City USA community for the 12th consecutive year.

But for the most part, it allowed kids to be kids as they put dirt into the tree hole and surrounded it with a berm covered with dark-brown mulch.

"He has a firm handshake," said fifth-grade student Sean Satsky as he played with one of the tree's limbs.

Satsky said he has planted trees a couple of times and was eager to tell others how it was done. He even helped name the tree Steve.

Those planting the other tree came up with several names of their own: Fire Station, Recycling Tree, Old School Tree and Titan.

Second-grader Isaac Talley and others dug into some dirt with their gloved hands and broke it up before they dumped it into the hole. Others stomped on it with their feet, instead.