All Sikhs are encouraged to plant a tree on this day, out of respect for our Guru’s concern for Creation. Gurdwaras can hold a tree planting and recite ardas after the planting to honor the environmental situation in the world, and in the Sikh spiritual homeland, Punjab. Gurdwaras can purchase saplings from a nearby nursery or if this is something they want to do regularly they can set up their own nurseries.
How to Plant a Tree
1: About five days earlier: dig a pit of approximately 2’x2’x2’ (60 cm x 60 cm x 60 cm).
2. At least a day earlier: collect 100g of mature neem seeds, wash and remove the husks, and allow drying completely. Grind into a fine powder. Stir into 2 litres of water and soak overnight. Stir again. If there are no neem seeds, then locate and source 2 litres of a natural, organic product for pest-management.
3: On the day: fill the pit with around 10kg of green/organic manure or compost. Drench the pit with the 2 litres of natural or neem-based product for pest management in the soil.
4: Plant the tree, without disturbing the roots up to its collar region.
5: Lightly water the tree immediately after planting
6: Support the tree with a wooden stick or similar to ensure it stays upright during initial growth.
7: Training and pruning tree: as the tree grows, the branches below 3ft (around 1 metre) should be trimmed to ensure the natural shape.
8: Install appropriate tree guards to prevent any damage or grazing by animals. A metal tree guard will cost approximately Rs. 150-300 per piece. Or you can make a wooden tree guard cheaply out of waste.
9: Protect against disease/pests whenever they appear with the neem-based compound or other natural organic pest control.
10: Weed and hoe: this should be done timely to ensure that no weeds grow by the tree and the soil near the tree remains aerated.
11: For the first two years fertilize the tree annually: 5 kg of green or organic manure is recommended annually for a normal tree for the initial two years of growth.