Tree Plantings – Celebrate the Earth

The dialogue that goes on in Nature occurs throughout the seasons mostly without our direct involvement, but April may very well be a wonderful time to interject a hearty ‘Thank You.’  Thanks for Spring returning to give us warmer temperatures, longer days, stronger sunlight and a glimpse of the Summer to come. 

This year Arbor Day, April 24th may be the perfect day to celebrate and give thanks to the trees around us.  The idea of Arbor Day dates back to 1872, when Nebraska newspaperman Julius Sterling Morton advocated massive tree plantings in an effort to combat windblown erosion of the largely treeless plains state.  By 1885, Arbor Day became a national holiday and observed in many states with parades and tree planting ceremonies.

Both Detroit natives, Mr. Morton and his wife urged settlers and homesteaders of their newly adopted prairie state to plant trees for shade, shelter, fruit, fuel and to beautify the community.  They were nature lovers and avid gardeners, but also well aware of the value of trees; knowing that trees absorb pollutants thereby cleansing the air we breathe, as well as converting carbon dioxide (from all our vehicles!) into oxygen for all Earth inhabitants.  The shade trees provide, cools a house in the summer – saving energy from decreased usage of air conditioning – and the shelter they provide, protects a house in the winter from cold wind chills – reducing heating costs.  Texas A&M University laboratory tests indicate trees help reduce stress and muscle tension and help to lower blood pressure.  Trees are great indicators as well – poor hydration and soil conditions will be quite visible in curled or yellowing leaves, or lack of leaves altogether.  Also, trees have been acknowledged to increase property value by as much as 20% — now you’re talking tree talk!

With this time of year perfect for planting, the only question now is which species to select.