Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Crazy For Trees

                Nootka False Cypress 
I was listening to a documentary on CBC radio (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) yesterday.

                    White Pine
It was about a man who has lived in Nova Scotia for about 40 years and has been planting trees all over the province in small town communities. For free! Actually he provides the trees and the community plants them.

                                  Chinese Dogwood (Cornus Kousa) 
He has also done the same right across parts of Canada again in small communities who wanted to 'invest' in the environmental and aesthetic value that trees offer.

                                     Small leafed Linden
There was only one condition that he had. It was that the trees were never to be used for profit and /or for it's wood.

                                     Red Dawn Redwood
I guess over the 40 year time frame he has provided tens of thousands of trees.

                                   Full Moon Maple
                     Bloodgood Japanese Maple
It got me thinking about the trees we have planted here in our little corner of the world.

                                 Nova Scotia Hemlock
When we bought our property from my parents just over 20 years ago, we were faced with lawns in the front and back. Not bad unto themselves but we didn't want to 'care' for grass and the maintenance of such.

                                   Corkscrew Witch Hazel
So we embarked of a rather chaotic 'game plan' for our 'garden'.

                    Katsura Tree
I have always loved trees. As a university student in the summers I was employed by the Halifax Public Gardens which has a rather famous Victorian  style garden. For a while in the summer one of my jobs was the maintenance of trees.......removal of 'suckers' that grow around the base of trees.

                                  Purple Katsura Tree
Not a very glamorous job mind you, but I watched and listened to the 'old timers' and how they approached each tree as if it was an 'individual'.

                                    Ginko Biloba
Anyway, soon after university I met Ron and he too had an appreciation of trees but more from an artistic point of view. He would draw them. I was totally impressed....that's another story for another day!

                    Black Walnut
So 20 years ago we started to plant trees everywhere. Of course they were small......little whips only.

                    Weeping Willow
Over the course of these years we have lost a few due to disease and the occasional hurricane but we managed to get some very beautiful specimens.

                   Devil's Walking Stick
I do have my favourite as does Ron. The Purple Beech is mine and Ron's is the Paperbark Maple.

The Beech doesn't look very 'purple' this time of year. It can grow into a very grand massive tree in about 40 years!!
                                                     Purple Beech
The Paperbark Maple is noted for it's very textured-looking bark.

                  Paperbark Maple
Some people look after and raise chickens and goats. We do the same for trees. The rewards are probably very similar in that we get satisfaction from looking after our trees and seeing the beauty (and shade) they provide.

                                     Silver Birch


  1. What a wonderful man, to give all those trees for simple beauty and the comfort of shade.

    You have some unusual trees in your garden! When our son was about 3, they were giving trees away in the same manner, DH and that little guy planted that tree, a frail Tulip Poplar, it still stand in the old yard and I am amazed at how tall it has grown. I would like another in the yard here, I would just as soon there was no grass to tend either - even though I don't mow anymore.

    Beautiful pictures and as always a great post!

  2. Trees are a wonderful gift to enjoy today and a wonderful legacy to leave for the future.

  3. Beautiful trees. Glad you had that plan all those years ago.

  4. Hi Jim! I really loved this post and reading about your beautiful trees--Ginko is one I'd love to plant on our property--I guess you know that they lose all their leaves at the same time, which I think is cool--I also love weeping willow and birch--The crown jewel in our yard is a HUGE old maple tree that I know has stories to tell if it could only talk! :-)

  5. I do miss trees out here on the prairie. We have ponderosa pines (natural) and a few sad aspen (planted). Thanks for sharing yours.

  6. Your trees (and photos) are absolutely beautiful!

  7. Great photos - we've just started planting saplings here. We have one flowering plum that is now into its fourth season, an English Elderberry into its third season, two black olive trees and a seville orange (our oldest tree)with a baby navel orange.

    We lost several trees along the way and accepted that the were not meant to grow in our location.

    We also have several native shrubs and bushes.

  8. Kim, I knew that Ginkos were one of the oldest trees still around but not that they shed all at once. Now that would be a picture!

    John, your trees sound so exotic! But then, why not.

  9. Excellent post! It makes me want to go hug a tree! That man deserves a medal,what a wonderfull thing to do for nature. I am so lucky to live in a region with the most stunning selection of trees around.

  10. love the Silver Birch...all of them are beautiful. How much land do you have?

  11. How wonderful - I'm glad to hear of the man & his tree planting for free

  12. quite the admirable endeavor!! you have a lovely selection. lawns are an artificial creation of man. i prefer wild gardens myself. keep going, you treehugger!!

  13. We try to take a more eclectic view of the trees we plant. Yass is an old area settled by English and Irish migrants. Muh of the love of European trees still persists here.

    There are some magnificant specimens in our local park, icluding a 100 year old 25 metre English Oak - I'll try to get some images and post them soon.

  14. You can tell our house a half a mile away, there are so many trees in an area that was farmed for years and turned subdivision 15 years ago. Like yours, much of ours is from samplings and even seeds.
    We've learned over the years to watch where we plant. I'm having to pull out a 16 year old double-bloom rose of sharon, that is actually taller than the house. It is only a foot and a half away from the foundation and we're worried it will start causing problems. It's got a bad lean to it as well. I'll miss all those flowers.


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