Planting a tree is an act of kindness – and generosity.
We are delivering trust to the future; knowing that our humanly, fragile lives can long be outlived by an English Walnut who can endure 150 years or more! She will be standing and producing long after we are gone, and the fruits of her labor will be enjoyed by children, squirrels and birds throughout the decades to come.
Planting a tree is not just in remembrance of Earth Day. For us, Earth Day is every day.
A tree is a mark on the land, a seed, then a sapling that grows as it branches. It pushes out buds, then branches form. The branches in turn become a perch for a bird to land on, even supporting a nest – a home. Some trees provide food, others shelter, all have a chance to become firewood in due time.
Last autumn we experienced a storm to beat all storms, we know full well, because we were caught out in it. The slashing rain, the bruising hail, taking cover in a strangers’ house with an open door – we felt the fury come to take our breath away without more than a minute’s notice…
Our roof took the brunt of the wind losing more than 150 clay tiles, we also lost an almost 100 year old walnut with the same twenty minutes of gutsy and gusty winds. It turned out that she was partly rotten inside, ready to sweep down to the ground. But the wood is beautiful! And the healthier parts could be used for furniture or small benches if time and experience allowed, yet, a few cubic meters of firewood it will become, and help to heat our home and allow us to cook throughout next winter. That is how life goes on, planting a tree continues the cycle of birth, life, death and ashes.
Even if you do not own land of your own to plant a tree on, with some creativity and thought there are other ways to get around that. You can donate a tree to someone with land and help plant it, you can invest in a company that reforests the landscape with native plants, you can secretly plant one out in the forest where no one is looking, shhhhh!
Why plant trees?
For starters, they provide us with oxygen – that’s pretty essential to life on Earth, all the while sequestering carbon-dioxide a well-known contributor to climate change.
Trees help to clean the air from the very gases that we are polluting them (and ourselves) with.
They prevent soil erosion on hills and steep slopes; protecting the river and creek banks from heavy rainfall and flash floods.
Trees provide wonderful amounts of shade. Chemical-free protection from UV rays is good for you, for your kids, for your backyard chickens, and all the other animals around you.
Food. We all love to eat, and trees can provide us with more than fruit – spruce buds are edible and a significant source of vitamin C, hawthorn and linden leaves are tasty too!
Trees provide shelter for many insects, mammals and birds. Provide for them, and they will give back to us – happiness, calm, peace of mind, relaxation…
Skills required for planting a tree?
Digging with a spade, watering from a bucket. Even a child can do it! So, get them involved with their hands on the tool handle, let them feel the moist soil as they add it back into the hole. Let them be proud of caring for future generations, after all, their children may be out there collecting the nuts, listening to the birds sing from its branches… that is continuity in action.
Will you be planting any trees this year? Where, when, what kind? Tell us all about it, we would love to know the story behind your future tree!