A Tulsa entrepreneur is partnering with local organizations to propagate a historic tree that will serve as a living monument to people killed in the Tulsa Race Massacre.
Bryan Meador founded Plant Seads LLC in 2019 to design products that address the climate change crisis. Now he is working with the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission and Up With Trees to propagate the American elm tree that has been at Greenwood Avenue and East Oklahoma Place for nearly a century.
The lead arborist at Up With Trees took measurements and estimates the tree is about 95 years old, so it probably was not yet growing at the time of the Massacre, Meador says. “But it is one of the oldest things surviving in the neighborhood, and we hope to use this longevity as a symbol of Tulsa’s growth over the past 100 years and into the future,” he says.
Up With Trees is cultivating 100 seedlings, which will be planted at a dedication event on April 17 in SeadPod planters, provided by Plant Seads, free of charge.
Meador designed SeadPods with urban gardening in mind. The recycled plastic planters can attach to chain-link fences to create a vertical garden.
“We’re actually moving on two fronts — taking cuttings and starting seeds for this project,” Meador explains. In case the cuttings don’t grow properly, Up With Trees planted American elm and redbud seedlings, says Diana Knocke, Up With Trees director of community outreach.
Speakers at the dedication ceremony will include Nehemiah Frank, editor-in-chief of the Black Wall Street Times, and Onikah Asamoa-Caesar, founder of Fulton Street Books and Coffee. There also will be live music. Once attendees plant a sapling in the SeadPods, it’s theirs to take home.
Attendance is limited to 250 people randomly selected from those who register.
Masks and social distancing will be required. For location information and to register for a chance to attend the event, visit plantseads.com/tulsa2021.