Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Gardener's Corner - Hug a Tree

My gardening column The Gardener's Corner for April 24, 2013.

"Other holidays repose upon the past, Arbour Day proposes for the future."  
These are the words on the monumental plaque in honour of J. Sterling Morton, the founder of Arbour Day.  The day was first celebrated in Nebraska on April 10, 1872 and since, millions of trees have been planted to promote conservation and correct deforestation.
Here in Ontario, Arbour Day is April 26 this year and Arbour Week runs from then until May 5.
The concern we have for our environment and the role trees play in the ecosystem enforces the spirit of Arbour Week in educating people about trees and encouraging the planting of them.
Trees serve several purposes in the environment; one of the most important being that through the process of photosynthesis they turn carbon dioxide into oxygen which we require to breathe.  They also help to control air pollution by trapping and filtering ash, dust and pollen on their leaf surfaces.
Their root systems can stabilize soil and planted en masse on a hill prevents erosion.  A row of trees can create a sound barrier to cut down on noise as well as provide privacy in a yard.  They can hide unsightly views created by neighbours or things you might want to hide yourself on your property.
Wildlife benefits from trees for they provide a home, refuge from predators and fruit and seed-bearing food.  We utilize the fruits and nuts of many trees ourselves and countless delicious jams or pies have been enjoyed.
Properly placed trees can cut air conditioning bills by 10 -50% during the summer; those planted on the south or south-west of a home will provide the most benefit.  To sit outside on a hot day under the canopy of a leafy tree you will notice a difference of 6-10° cooler in the shade.
Lastly, trees can beautify an area when spring flowering varieties and others with colourful leaves or bark are planted.  They are also therapeutic like gardening in that they can give a person a feeling of peaceful tranquility.
Trees go through a great deal of stress when they are dug up, potted and then planted in your garden so don’t expect them to shoot up right away.  Be patient, they are going to spend a year or two establishing the root system before they put on much growth on the part you can see and are eagerly anticipating.
Plant a tree for Arbour Day or at least give a tree you have a hug for what it does for you.


  1. This is a great post. I would love to see more trees being planted rather than being cut down! Lovely photos!

  2. A good column. I've done my share for I adore trees -- sigh -- not the leaves everywhere in fall but I adore trees!

  3. This is a very good column Judith. Great advice too. I love our maple trees.

  4. I planted the last of the trees my yard will handle last year. Mostly Japanese Maples. Only so much room and they tend to fit well.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  5. Good post. I need that patience as we wait for our new trees to grow, but they look promising and we have blossoms on our baby dogwood !!

  6. Hi Judith,

    I love your picture with the bird it is beautiful. My husband has planted a few tree in our yard and the birds take advantage of them I love it. We get finches every year, as well as cardinal, bluejays, robins, sparrows, and many more. Thanks for sharing.


  7. Very good post! Your photos are beautiful. We have planted Canadian Red Cherry trees around our small yard. Also a couple of flowering Crabapple tress. Love them!

  8. We sure do appreciate the trees on the south side during the summer and resent them deeply in the other seasons. They are a bit too close perhaps. I'll not be planting a tree, but I hope to take good care of the ones that have been entrusted to my care for now.

  9. You wrote a great column...we live surrounded by trees in Oregon, but have none in our yard here in Florida. I miss them.

  10. We plant a tree every single anniversary we have - no matter what else we do or where we go (we're big cruisers,) we promised ourselves we'd plant a tree (Sept 20th is our anniversary) every single one.

    And then some....we've planted about 50 trees in the 11 years we've been here.

    Love this post and love that bird picture, that is amazing photography, Judith!!

  11. Loved your post! Flowering trees are always such a favorite of mine!

    Gracious Hospitality

  12. Fantastic write, and I love the gentle tips on tree planting. Beautiful photos!

  13. I am planting a few new trees as we take down my mature ash trees before they become infested.

  14. We have sooo many trees and I love them! The flowering trees are almost finished here in Oregon and the maples have almost finished leafing out.
    Beautiful blog.

  15. I'm with you all the way Judith - I'm a tree lover too.
    I'm in awe of old trees and I feel a real presence when I stand beside one and look up at them.
    Without their vital part in photosynthesis we wouldn't survive - a big hug and a thank you to the trees from me!
    Shane ♥

  16. We plant trees every year, since this was just an open field when we moved in. In fact, I have some trees from Arbor day to plant now! It's so thrilling to see them growing up.

  17. Very good post, Judith. Trees are so important. We need to treasure them. I love the photo of the cedar waxwing. Have a great wknd!
    Blessings and hugs, Beth

  18. Hi, Judith
    It is so wonderful that you write a gardening column!! Unfortunately it is not so easy for me to read the whole writing but I enjoy your beautiful flowers and trees. The bird is so elegant.



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