Trees are more important to life than you can imagine, but we take them for granted. In preparing for a garden club tree give-away as part of the Arbor Day celebration, I had a refresher course.
The club ordered 200 white pine seedlings from the state nursery at a very attractive price. Bright plastic tape tied with planting instructions was attached to each tree. Although we had ordered 1 year seedlings, we received 3 year seedlings, to our benefit. 140 school first graders benefited from this enterprise. We still have 60 plants to hand out at our annual plant sale.
The Arbor Day Foundation supplied us with information on planting. I knew that the roots should soak in water for a period before planting. And I knew the roots should have friable soil without crowding. But I recall in previous plantings I have added a few things to the planting hole. Like a little potting soil. My dirt is hard and I thought I could help it. But the instructions say do not use fertilizer, potting soil or chemicals on your new trees. Never too late to learn.
I am aware that in August when there is no rain that the new plantings need a little moisture. I have done the 5 gallon, plastic bucket with small holes drilled in the bottom for slow uptake of moisture thing. Probably I should have watered longer, say a dry September, or even October.
As a child I took a book and climbed an old mulberry tree for solitude. Trees can block unpleasant views, muffle street sounds, absorb wind and reduce glare.
There's more. Trees save water, prevent erosion, and increase atmospheric moisture. They reduce the need for air conditioning, and reduce pollution emissions. They add value to real estate by as much as 15 percent.
One of the few poems I memorized in school was Joyce Kilmer's "Trees."
I'll share it with you.
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair
Upon who's bosom snow has lain
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
Photo by Fotolia/gstockstudio