Restore: Habitat/Forestry

Restore: Habitat /Forestry

The Basics

A soil test is used to determine the level of nutrients in the soil that are essential for tree growth and health. In addition, soil tests will tell you the pH value, or how acidic or alkaline your soil is. Soil pH governs the availability of nutrients and also affects the activity of important soil microorganisms. Your soil test report will recommend customized amounts and types fertilizers and/or lime to meet your tree or plant’s needs.

The cost of a standard soil test is $6.00 per sample through the Clemson Cooperative Extension. It will take seven to fourteen days to receive your soil test report in the mail, so plan ahead before planting. Click here for specific instructions on how to take a soil sample and information to help you understand your soil test report. You can also call the Home and Garden Information Center at 1-888-656-9988 to talk with an extension agent.

  1. All schools should be planting trees annually and maintaining all trees on school grounds . Trees provide shade, energy conservation, erosion control, wind breaks, wildlife habitat and beauty. See the SC Forestry Commission’s South Carolina Urban Tree Care Guide for information on caring for the trees on your school grounds.
  2. Consider planting a well chosen tree on your school property or in your community each December to celebrate Arbor Day. In South Carolina, Arbor Day falls on the first Friday in December.
  3. To qualify for a restore: forestry green step, a school must document planting a tree every year on their school grounds or in their community and then build a forestry lesson into their curriculum to educate the school family about the value of the trees they are planting. A Green Steps mentor can help the school make this fun and effective.
  4. Consider having students do a tree census  on the number and species of trees on the school property and then to write a report recommending a new tree to plant at school or in their community. Some things they may want to consider include:
    • common and botanical names for the tree
    • whether the tree is a native plant
    • tree size full grown and the number of years to reach maturity
    • tree needs (soil type, amount of space, light, and water)
    • tree value (beauty, habitat, wind break, erosion control, shade, food source)
  5. In addition, students could participate in a contest to design recycled-content markers or signs to identify the trees for people who visit their school.Model Restore: Forestry ProjectsWant to learn more?

Model Restore: Forestry Projects

  • Forest Heights Elementary School in Richland District One has been working several years to replant a clear-cut area on their school site.
  • Cross Roads Middle School in Lexington/Richland District Five plants two trees each year in honor of their “Teacher of the Year” and “Support Staff Member of the Year.”

Forestry Resources

Forestry Organizations

  • Arbor Day Foundation – join and receive ten 6”-12” trees postage paid and guaranteed to grow in your area


  • SOUTH CAROLINA PROJECT LEARNING TREE offers training classes and facilitator leadership classes in various locations throughout the year for teachers and informal environmental educators. For more information, contact Stephanie Kolok
  • FORESTRY TEACHERS TOUR WORKSHOP –Spend seven days learning about the original green industry in our state foresty! This FREE course willt ake you from seed to finished product and everything in between to provide a comprehensive look into the impact forest have on our state’s enviornment, econonmy, and quality of life. 45 CEUS or can get 3 hours of non-degree graduate credit for $150. For more information click here.

Useful Websites