Thursday, June 27, 2013

Simple Suggestion # 170... Plant a tree

I can't believe it's taken me this long to come to this Simple Suggestion! Especially given how much I love trees... When we planted this Russian Olive nine years ago, it was up to my waist. Now it's almost as high as our house, and watching it grow has been wonderful.

Two weekends ago, Edmonton held its first annual "Root for Trees" festival. People of all ages from all over the city gathered at Government House Park and, in spite of less than optimal weather, worked together to increase the size of our urban forest. There was music, food, face painting and a kids' Tree-athlon, and from all reports, everyone had a good time planting baby trees. Brilliant, I say. I wasn't able to attend this year, but I'm already planning on attending next year.

Planting a tree is one of those wonderful things that we can do to leave the world a better place than we found it -- and there are probably dozens of other good reasons for planting trees. Like:

1. Trees combat Global Climate Change. They absorb carbon dioxide while releasing oxygen back into the air.

2. Certain trees have the ability to remove other pollutants from our ecosystems, like ammonia and sulfur dioxide and a whole slew of others that I can't think of at the moment.

3. They can also prevent soil erosion.

4. Our environment benefits when trees shade our homes and streets, cutting our air conditioning needs.

5. Plant a tree, and you won't need to water your yard so often (though heaven knows, this year it's not a problem in Alberta -- for the moment).

6. When it comes to creating oases of shade for people and animals. you can't beat trees. UV rays don't burn kids in treed playgrounds, and the urban canopy is home for many birds, squirrels and other creatures.

7. Fruit trees don't take a lot of space, and provide food for us, birds, and wildlife.

8. Trees can beautify almost any setting, and they satisfy our need for nature in many ways, often without us realizing it.

I could go on and on, but I have a dog who would probably like a walk through our favourite treed park. So I'll leave you with a picture. Here's the oak tree that was planted 57 years ago by the original owners of our home. They also left us two pear trees, for which we are extremely grateful.

In my books, planting a tree is a sign of hope for our future, and a gift to generations to come. So see how many trees you can plant in your lifetime...

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