Sunday, February 17, 2013

Plant a Tree for the Future

My closest plant friends know that if I had to name a favorite “category” of plants it would be trees. Trees are amazing organisms – strong, long-lived, graceful, colorful, beautiful, and a pillar of support for almost every creature around them.

Tuliptree, Liriodendron tulipifera

Arbor Day is here again, and it is an excellent time to reflect upon all that trees do for us. The list is a simple but important one, and it is one that I shared with many kids over the years during Arbor Day celebrations. They give us shade, shelter, food, materials, and beauty. Their roots hold the soil together. Their leaves clean the air and give us oxygen.

I doubt we could live without them. 

So Arbor Day is also a good time to plant a tree. Georgia’s Arbor Day is celebrated the third Friday in February. It is earlier than the national Arbor Day because our mild climate allows us to plant trees earlier in the year. Woody plants like trees and shrubs can be planted now, well ahead of the hot summer weather.

Trees also benefit wildlife - especially native trees. They provide shelter for birds, small mammals and even bugs. They provide food for them in many ways. Their fruit and nuts are excellent food, of course. But even their leaves are food for many bugs, especially the larval forms of caterpillars, flies, wasps and many others. And as I've said many times, those bugs become bird food later.

So for all the good reasons for humans and the wildlife we live with ... plant a native tree.

“The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” - Anonymous


  1. What a wonderful post. Florida a.d. is third friday in January. I think maybe I'll note GA's on my calendar and then next year I can plant one in January for FL and one in Feb for GA. Have to check who all has their day in March. I always try to plant one for National A.D. in Apr as well.

    That tulip tree is a "looker". I think I want one but I'd have to move a little further north. Looks like it doesn't like it this far south. I'll have to live vicariously through your garden on that one. :)

  2. Lovely post - wish I had more room in my yard for more trees. Will have to find some community property to plant.