On a walk today in the lovely spring air I had the opportunity to let my eyes take in all the lovely pallet of nature that I walked in. Primarily the trees were the focus. In all their spring glory they seemed to be saying we are sorry we had to leave you for the long dark months of winter, but we are back. How they come back to us is the most beautiful miracle of every spring. They are born anew with their lovely lacey new green leaves; and if they are flowering trees with masses of blossoms to delight our sense of sight and smell.
It seemed so appropriate as I was walking beneath the trees that I should have thought of Joyce Kilmers poem. He captured the spiritual and earthly essence of all that trees are to us in his poem, “Trees”.
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray,
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
— Joyce Kilmer
Trees are the most dramatic show of spring we see as the season turns from dark gray days to the soft rain and sunshine days of spring. We can all contribute to the continuing life of our planet by planting trees. If you plant trees now, you will be able to enjoy them throughout the summer and fall and they will have a chance to settle into their new surrounding before winter sets in. There are a variety of ways to do this and organizations that can help.
One is the National Arbor Day Foundation
The National Arbor Day Foundation website has valuable FREE information on tree planting and selection. The foundation offers basic membership for $10.00 a year and contributing membership for $25.00 a year. The basic membership includes 10 FREE trees appropriate for planting in your area. This is a great way to get started planting trees. The foundation provides instructions for planting your trees when they arrive.
Friends of Trees
Friends of Trees is a nonprofit organization based in the Pacific Northwest. They organize tree planting in the Portland-Vancouver area. However, their website a has Tree Resource link that provides Tree Facts, Care and Maintenance, How to Plant, Invasive Species and a Tree Database. This information is all FREE right on the website to help you get your trees planted.
If you choose to visit your local nursery, look for trees that have a two-inch diameter trunk. A tree that has reached this diameter will have a better chance of survival against visitors like rabbits and the tree has a more immediate impact on your landscape.
Follow a check-list of things to look for when purchasing a tree at your local nursery:
* The root system should not be root bound. When you pull the tree out of any temporary container, look to see that the roots are not bound tightly around the base inside the pot. If they are in a burlap wrapped ball, the ball should be firm and well shaped and there should be no roots that are growing out from the ball itself.
* The trunk should be smooth, with no scrapes, cuts or damage and the branches should not be tangled or broken.
TreeHelp.com has Step-By-Step instructions for selecting and planting your tree. Some of the topics TreeHelp.com covers:
* Choosing a Tree
* Types of Trees
* When to Plant
* Water, Mulch, Fertilizer
You will want to select a tree that will survive in your area. Also consider if you want a flowering tree, which will give you lovely bursts of color in the spring.
The National Arbor Day Foundation – Tree Zone Look-Up
This link will allow you to do several things. It will locate your “Hardiness Zone” by zip code. Then it will allow you to browse detailed listings with pictures of the most popular trees in your zone and the trees that will grow well in your zone. The option to order the tree right then is also available.
Consider adding some trees this spring to your landscape. It will enrich your life and give you a feeling that you have done something to make our planet a better place for you and for generations to follow.