Do you give much thought to adding trees and shrubs to your property? In my experience it has almost been an obsession that influenced my life early on, even though I really didn't "need" another tree at any time. When I look back over the years it seems my thoughts sometimes turned to questions of "What if," "What kind," and "How many." Now I find myself asking, "Are we done yet"?
I had planted three five-foot saplings this spring to help replace some recent losses. Two were Eastern Redbuds; Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) and one was our state tree, Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera). In addition, I am nurturing two seedlings over winter, which will go into the landscape this coming spring. I am introducing them to the "world" here. They are like small "miniatures," and I have realistic doubts that I will ever sit in their shade because they are now only 5-6 inches in height. Pictured at left is an Austrian Pine seedling and an Eastern Red Cedar seedling. Both germinated naturally in 2014. Both are shown here in October 2015. At right is a persimmon, which I grew from seed brought back from southern Illinois in 2007. That seedling produced fruits in 2015, shown at the following ATP Database link: American Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana). It is also shown in the first picture below at far left in the shot.
In a thread relating to trees, someone had pointed out that a Greek Proverb reminds us of this: "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in." (The thread "love the trees" in An Ever-Changing Landscape) I vaguely remembered this proverb from somewhere, but had forgotten about it. I feel it is very much worth repeating here. I am also of the opinion that not only "old men," but everyone contributes to society's "greatness" when planting trees, whether they sit in the shade of them or not. Children, too, contribute much through school programs and the Arbor Day Foundation. At least ten trees in our landscape came from the efforts of the latter two sources (four of them from our grandchildren!). Within the pictures below are some trees inspired and planted by our children and grandchildren. All flowering crab apples came by way of school projects. Other saplings are barely visible near the bird houses in the second and third photos.
November skies have been mostly clear and blue except for a few large, puffy, cumulus clouds floating about. The real "stars" of our autumn show have been undoubtedly the trees. Foliage has been beautifully colored in shades of buff, gold, orange, brown, and reds. Sassafras trees especially have appeared almost as "peacocks of the woodlands" with brilliant reds and oranges this fall.The picture at immediate right is an Austrian Pine (Pinus nigra)
which also was grown from seed started in 2006. It is now over 14 feet in height and hosts all sorts of birds in the winter months (summer too). At left is a stand of Sassafras (Sassafras albidum)
. Sassafras is a personal favorite since childhood and provides blazing displays of color in autumn. I include a link here of an excellent article from @Sharon
on this noble tree: http://garden.org/ideas/view/S...
. The last image at right is a young tulip tree sapling like the one we planted this spring. It is our state tree and serves as another replacement for some of our losses.
Whether we plan to plant more trees or just to see what is out there, it is beneficial to plan ahead. Sometimes taking pictures of our properties and landscapes is a good way to visualize what can and cannot be done. It is also a good way to spend winter months, thinking about what needs to be done in the coming spring. All of our planning hinges on our geographic and regional locations, as well as our personal wants and needs. Some trees are not suited to differing climatic conditions from one state to another; or even mini-climates within a state. Our property sizes, zoning laws, utility services, and local ordinances all play a role. And all of these are factors which should be considered when planning ahead.
Some "Tree Facts" courtesy of The Arbor Day Foundation
1. Without the benefit of trees and vegetation, waterways are polluted as oils, heavy metal particles, and other harmful substances are washed away.
2. Fish and wildlife suffer, drinking water becomes expensive or impossible to reclaim, property values are reduced, and our living environment is degraded.
3. As trees grow, they remove carbon dioxide from the air, storing carbon in the trees and soil, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere.
4. Trees provide many benefits to us, every day. They offer cooling shade, block cold winter winds, attract birds and wildlife, and purify our air.
5. They prevent soil erosion, clean our water, and add grace and beauty to our homes and communities.
6. Planting the right trees in the right places conserves energy and reduces your energy bills.
7. Properly placed trees save energy by providing summer shade, winter warmth, and winter windbreaks.
The Arbor Day Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit conservation and education organization. It was founded in 1972.ARBOR DAY FOUNDATION