Saturday, April 25, 2020

Learn How to Celebrate and Honor Trees on Arbor Day - And Every Day
Celebrate and Honor Trees 
Today, many folks might ask, “What is Arbor Day?” While you can find out everything you need to know by visiting the Arbor Day Foundation website, the thumbnail is that Arbor Day was founded in 1872 by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska City, Nebraska.

By the 1920s, each state in the United States had passed public laws that stipulated a certain day to be Arbor Day or Arbor and Bird Day observance. ... On the first Arbor Day, April 10, 1872, an estimated one million trees were planted.

We’re still playing catch-up for all the trees we cut down...

On that first Arbor Day - there were parades, and more than 1,000 people who came out to hear speeches and celebrate the trees.

Today, Arbor Day is set aside to raise awareness of trees - around the world - and the important role that they play in our environment.

I just wish more folks would get excited about our trees. They are the lungs of the earth. Trees absorb CO2, removing and storing the carbon while releasing oxygen back into the air.

And while the environment has experienced a cleansing during this covid crisis because we are not burning fossil fuels like we were due to stay-at-home restrictions, the concern is that we haven’t changed our lifestyles - rather just hit the pause button. Once we close the covid chapter, we will most likely go back to polluting our environment. With a vengeance. And that will be even more sad because we now know that areas with heavier pollution condemn their citizens to more risk of coronavirus.

We can modify our behavour. Take this gift that Mother Nature has extended.
Learn about trees, including what native trees are in your area that you can grow in order to improve your part of the world, while helping the pollinators.

Trees can boost the market value of your home by an average of 6 to 7 percent, according to Dr. Lowell Ponte as featured on the Arbor Day website.

Landscaping, especially with trees, can increase property values as much as 20 percent, according to the Management Information Services/ICMA.

And “Healthy, mature trees add an average of 10 percent to a property's value.”

The USDA says, “The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.”

Plus trees help with runoff to protect the soil and our water.

Learn about planting trees in groups rather than a solo star. Visually, this creates a focal point. iF you have the space, a grove of trees can be a reflection point when planted near water; they can create a walkway; and create a view. Furthermore, I always suggest Cluster Planting of trees. Here, Penn State Extension describes why this is good practice:

Cluster planting is done by strategically installing plants in groups of threes, fives, or higher odd numbers to block specific views or prevailing winds. Cluster planting provides an attractive, natural-looking screen without walling off your house and yard like a fortress. By planting clusters away from your house, you also provide backgrounds for interesting flowering and fruiting shrubs that are visible from your deck or living room. Additional cluster plantings can be used to create groves. The combined effect provides screening and an interesting design, allows for good airflow, and accommodates walkways through your property.

Learn how to prune your trees.  Hire the best arborist. Make a date every year with these "rock stars" of the horticultural world in order to maintain healthy trees.

There’s a million reasons to love our trees. And to plant a million more trees.

You can also lobby your local governments and petition the power companies to stop cutting and hallowing out the street trees. They can invest in underground technology. Not only will that effort save our trees but it will also better protect everyone during the huge superstorms that will inevitably arrive with ever more frequency because... We are not safeguarding the environment and we are cutting down trees with abandon. Full circle.  sigh...

Last year I read the Pulitzer Prize winning, The Overstory novel by Richard Powers. It is a profound, life-changing read that I highly recommend.

Bill and I were most fortunate to view The NYBG YouTube presentation of the author’s talk at the Garden. I encourage you to take the 30 minutes to watch and learn…

As a child, I loved to sit in the crotch of the cherry tree just off our screened in porch, and read. I was that much closer to heaven...

Trees are a wonder. Plant trees. Yes, hug them.
Oh, and I learned a new word from my "Hortie Hero," Charles Yurgalevitch from NYBG on Arbor Day: Silvics - it means the scientific study of trees and their environment. Love that! 
Yes, truly love your tree. Go sit under a tree… From a safe, social distance. We’ll all be back in our parks, forests, and woods soon…

What's your favorite tree?
I love so many, including the native Paw Paw (you can make fabulous desserts with the fruit. I made panacotta with it!).  I also love the trunks of birch, sycamore, lacebark, and cherry, to name a few.

Here’s our Kwanzan Cherry Tree in our front yard. She is so very glamorous. We love her.

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