Tag Archives: Trees

Spring is HERE!!

This past weekend, our entire family enjoyed being outside working on projects.  I spent Friday morning in solitude and I walked around our property marveling, as I always do, at the beginning of Spring.

Naming this season “Spring” is no mistake.  The greenery springs forth from the ground and the buds spring forth from the trees.  I feel like I can actually feel the excitement from the plants.  They are waking up after a long winter’s nap.

Blueberry Buds in the Spring

Blueberry Buds in the Spring

Spring makes me feel hopeful.  Spring is filled with possibilities and new growth.  I wonder what trees and bushes will fruit this year.  I wonder how my lettuces will do (I have been learning how NOT to raise lettuce.)  I am so excited for all the possibilities.  All of the cliches, all of the sayings feel so true to me.  It feels as though they have been written just for me.

Maple Buds, welcoming the sunlight

Maple Buds, welcoming the sunlight

Everything seems to be waking up to welcome the warm weather.  As we stretch out our arms after a long rest, the trees and bushes reach out their leaves to collect the sunshine and feed themselves.

Pear Tree waking up to Spring

Pear Tree waking up to Spring

The dandelions open to feed bees the first nectar of the season.

Dandelion Blooming

Dandelion Blooming

Strawberries are starting to bloom as well.

Strawberries starting to bloom.

Strawberries starting to bloom.

Strawberries in bloom.

Strawberries in bloom.

And we already have some of cultivated edibles ready for eating.

Parsley we planted last year.  We used this in our Thanksgiving dinner and its the first thing ready to eat this year.

Parsley we planted last year. We used this in our Thanksgiving dinner and its the first thing ready to eat this year.

Welcome Spring, we are glad you have back again!

 

Plant a Tree, Save the World

This past weekend, my mom, my husband, my kid and myself planted a tree at local Rail-to-Trail as a memorial of my late Grandfather.  It was a small oak that will hopefully grow into a mighty oak which will outlive all those that planted it. (meaning it will live a VERY long life, as well as those who planted it).  This is a wonderful way to remember a wonderful man.  This is surely a gift that will keep on giving.

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Trees do many things positive things that we know of, and I’m sure many that we do not.

Here is a list of 10 positive things trees do:

1) Restores biodiversity.  Bugs live in trees.  Birds and Squirrels live in trees.  Bird eat the bugs that live in trees.  Bigger birds eat those smaller birds who eat the bugs.  This biodiversity is not limited to the animal kingdom.  A tree creates a shady spot which creates cooler environments.  Plants that like cooler, shadier areas now have an environment to thrive.

a robin nest nestled deep in an evergreen

a robin nest nestled deep in an evergreen

2) Provides shade and shelter for your critters.  Our chickens love to hang out under the shade of the oak tree we planted for Jaxson when he turned one.  I have heard bees become more productive (and are overall happier) when the live in the shade of a tree.  All animals benefit from having the shelter/shade of a tree available to them.  This includes: birds, sheep, goats, horses, goats, and bees.

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3) Prevents Erosion (3 ways): (a)The tree protects the soil from the impact of the rain, which can hammer the earth’s surface.  (b) The tree sucks up water from the soil.  This means that the soil will not become over saturated.  When you have heavy/flooding rains, picture what the surrounding creeks and stream look like.  They are muddy and icky.  This is from the soil being flushed out along with the water.  A tree helps to reduce this.  (c) A tree holds onto soil, especially on sloping lands.  And by holding on to that soil allows other plants to set roots down; therefore, increasing the biodiversity we discussed our first reason trees save the world.

oak tree with acorns

oak tree with acorns

4) Helps replenish the soil.  A tree accumulates biomass.  Biomass is the mass of living things in a given area.  When a tree drops it’s leaves, the leaves decompose and turn into worm food and create soil.  Trees also have two types of roots: perennial and annual.  The annual root system dies every year and becomes worm food, creating more soil/organic matter.  With their roots, trees suck up nutrients deep in the ground and bring the nutrients up the their leaves.  These nutrients now become available to the surface of the earth.

walnut tree at the forest edge

walnut tree at the forest edge

5) Stores solar energy and makes it usable (in a sustainable way).  Chris and I heat our house with solar energy.  Yes, our home is south facing, so we benefit from passive solar, but we also benefit from stored solar energy in the form of wood.  When we burn wood, we are simply releasing the solar energy stored in the tree.

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6) Act as a wind buffer.  Trees will slow gusting winds down.  Anyone who has run or biked in the country has felt this.  You are chugging away down the road and all of a sudden you are surrounded by fields and you feel like you are about to be knocked over.  Trees act as a natural wind buffer.

young paw paw tree

young paw paw tree

7) Create oxygen.  Well that’s pretty cool.  Anyone with an elementary school education is aware of this.

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8) Provides food.  Possibly.   If you want.  It is possible that a tree after doing all the above will also provide you with food.  Anything from peaches and pears to walnuts and almonds.

An immature peach on a tree

An immature peach on a tree

9) Look pretty.  My goodness.  Trees are amazing living things.  Certain species can live thousands of years.  Some are so big cars can drive through them, some are so small they look like nothing more than a blade of grass.

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10) Provides materials.  As a woodworker, Chris uses wood to make shelves, lids, chicken coops and fences.  This material can be re-purposed when it’s original purpose is no longer served.  Wood products are longer lasting, healthier (less yucky chemicals), and more attractive than their plastic counterparts.

All this was spurred by a short two and a half minute video which features a woman who reclaims the dessert by planting trees:

So get out and plant your trees today!