What would it be like if we lived without trees? The air we breath would not be as clean, the majesty and beauty of their being, gone. Just think, as one tree has the ability to provide clean, fresh oxygen for ten people in the span of one year, they also scrub pollutants from the air that we breathe.
In fact, the snow you see in my images also cleans the air of particulates as it falls, so even when the leaves are gone in winter, nature still is working for us.
Trees cool the environment and they conserve energy by providing shade. They create energy and warmth by burning as a renewable resource; of course if it is managed that way. So they have us covered in all four seasons.
Trees reduce noise pollution by proper placement and selection. They do a great service by reducing soil erosion which is another precious natural commodity.
Trees increase our property values if selected wisely and have a rather large monetary value if destroyed. If you want to see how much, see my post here.
They provide food in many ways, including nuts and fruit as the most obvious. Of course we utilize them for building materials to shelter our families.
We turn them into pulp for paper, and find medicinal value for our health and well-being. We use them to create beautiful objects for our home.
Since I showed some burl inlays above in my TV cabinet, here are some images of how it may develop in a tree.
In this case, the burl resulted as scar tissue covering an injury of loss of limb most likely, but also notice the nail in the summer photo, below. It could have resulted from the nail as this tree has two burls, both with nails in the center. A burl like this one will have no commercial value and seldom does because the bulge created will not have the burl figure grain. The shape of the burl is often hollowed.
So in conclusion, that is just a small portion of what trees do for us.
For other creatures much is the same in regards to shelter, food and oxygen.
This large hornets nest is in a rather small pear tree on a busy city street. Nature has had to adapt to our rapid development.
They provide habitat for other plants and fungus as well.
The mighty tree is one of the necessities of life.
I am quite sure you can find other ways that trees service humanity, but what do we do for them?
Many experts feel trees are in peril, one of which is clear cutting for our expanding urbanization. The value of trees is undeniable and clear cutting should not be an answer for development.
Other ways trees face demise is through disease and insect damage like the Emerald Ash Borer ravaging whole states of native ash trees. The image below is found at Emerald Ash Borer Info. This insect has found its way to counties surrounding Niagara and I have loads of information on it from Cornell Cooperative Extension, but we can save that for another post, but here is a taste.
Just fathom, over 50 Million ash trees have been destroyed since it was first identified in Michigan in the summer 2002. Seven percent of all trees in New York State are ash, and it is spreading here county-by-county. This pest has spread to 13 states and counting. Want to know if your state is one?
So yes folks, trees are in danger. And this is only one way of many.
Frederick Law Olmsted understood that we must be in the presence of trees to appreciate them. He used trees with abandon in Niagara Falls State Park. Many of the trees are original natives and live in the most precarious of situations. The image below is a tree hanging on at the brink of the Falls. The drop is only about a hundred yards away.
The bag worm infested trees from summer are growing right on a little rock plateau in the middle of the upper rapids.
So what can we do for them? We can donate. We can plant. We can preserve. And we can promote. Our very existence is dependent on the survival and conservation of trees.
Did you know that Arbor Day is different in each state?
Each state’s Arbor Day celebration date initiates the signing of an Arbor Day proclamation by local officials. Activities on each Arbor Day revolves around the trees and tree planting.
Celebrations are held as early as January and February in some southern states and as late as May in areas to the North. What it coincides with is the time that weather generally allows for tree digging and planting, although many trees can be planted throughout the year.
Florida and Louisiana have Arbor Day first on the third Friday of January.
Pennsylvania and New York have Arbor Day the last Friday in April. National Arbor Day is observed on the last Friday in April.
To finish off the year, South Carolina has Arbor Day the first Friday in December.
Do you know your state tree? New York is the Sugar Maple and Pennsylvania is the Eastern Hemlock. If you want to know when your Arbor Day occurs and what your state tree is, go here.
The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn. Ralph Waldo Emerson
For additional information on Trees see Carolyn’s Shade Garden’s post My Thanksgiving Oak Forest. It goes pretty well with Emerson’s quote.
I want to invite you to see a new blog I am authoring with a friend of mine. It explores both interior and exterior design and is a place where I can do illustration and photography to relate it to design of both gardens and interiors. If you enjoy the inside of your home as much as you love the outside, have a look. Loads of images and pops of color.
Posts include: Is Blue You and Cardinal Fest.
Please stop in at to see Green Apples. It is not yet approved by Blotanical, so go to www.greenapplesgarden.com. Thank you.