April 28, 2017 is National Arbor Day. Do you remember when you were in grade school, maybe someone took you out to the schoolyard to plant a tree? It always seemed like an exercise in futility to me, I mean from year to year I went to different schools, never staying in one spot more than a couple of years. I never did get to see any of those trees I tossed a spoon of dirt on, so how did I know it was even helping?
Trees take a very long time to grow. Well, except for bamboo, which I understand grows almost visibly every day!
I do remember a very large tree outside my grandma & grandpa's back door that three of us smaller children could hide behind without even trying. We loved climbing up in the crook of the apple trees in their side yard and picking the apples right off the branches.
I am an admirer of trees now in my adult life. I prefer shade over sun, and the bigger the tree the better I like it!
This week when a tree in our yard needed cutting, I was very sad. That half of the yard will be very sunny this summer, and my tenants will have to get a big umbrella for their picnic table if they want to use the patio when it's hot!
I feel like the Ents (Lord of the Rings), mourning for my lost friends...
|Ent, looking sad.|
Seriously, working for water engineers has made me realize just how much trees mean to life. Trees provide shade and homes for birds and squirrels and all that. But they also help manage stormwater runoff and absorb unwanted nutrients from groundwater. They help with water retention and hold the soil together to defeat erosion.
Trees have marvelous resiliency, coming back after forest fires. Their seeds spread out and sprout and pretty soon the cycle starts over.
I think I like trees so much because most of them are green, and green is my favorite color. But then I love them in the fall when they turn all of those gorgeous colors too.
Happy Arbor Day! Go hug a tree...