Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Crazy For Trees
I was listening to a documentary on CBC radio (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) yesterday.
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.
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.
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.
I guess over the 40 year time frame he has provided tens of thousands of trees.
It got me thinking about the trees we have planted here in our little corner of the world.
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.
So we embarked of a rather chaotic 'game plan' for our 'garden'.
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.
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'.
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!
So 20 years ago we started to plant trees everywhere. Of course they were small......little whips only.
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.
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!!
The Paperbark Maple is noted for it's very textured-looking bark.
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.