Ever since I was a little girl I have loved trees. My father’s house is on a four acre lot that was pretty much naked when he bought it save for the house and the barn. He had a pond put in and over the years has planted hundreds of trees. Evergreens like Blue Spruce and White Pine have been a staple of his plantings. He had planted 2 rows of beautiful Green Ash trees to the north side of the property that made a pretty walking path in the summer and fall. Near the pond he planted hybrid Poplar and Weeping Willows and a couple rows of fruit trees.
At the request of my mother he planted a Privet hedge along the whole south side of the property. it was nice to have because once it was big enough – which didn’t take long – it kept out prying eyes of nosy neighbors and the occassional creepy weirdo that would stop and want to watch my brother and I play. If you think you only get that in the city, try living out in the middle of no where. Creepy cretans find a way to hide themselves. But I digress, all the different trees made it a very pretty place to live as we were growing up. I’d like to give the same thing to my children.
No, we don’t have four acres to play with, but we still have a long skinny lot that runs right next to a busy road. There are no neighbors across the road, but the thought of having a hedge there appeals to me because of the traffic that goes down our road and the fact that it will act as a barrier for the children leaving the property and crossing over to the canal. Yeah, the ditch across the road from us is an old canal – very deep, very dirty and always filled with water. Not kid friendly. Not car friendly either, but that’s a different story. The existing trees were poorly placed, little cared for and some were dying.
There were a few that had to be taken out soon after we moved in because their presense precluded the survival of surrounding trees. They didn’t look good either. One Sugar Maple in the back yard had to be cut down this year because it’s invasive roots had destroyed our septic tank. An apple tree in our back yard had split and was not doing well so it came down. There was also a very short row of Arborvitae that was poorly placed and turning brown that had to come down the first year we were here. Needless to say we have many stumps to remove and some space to fill.
When I received an offer for membership to the National Arbor Day Foundation I scrounged together my pennies and sent in the fee. They give deep discounts on trees and shrubs of many kinds and give detailed information on how to care for the trees that are planted. They offer in their catalog some trees I had not been able to locate anyplace else. For instance, I’ve always wanted a Pecan tree and a Black Walnut. According to their USDA planting zone charts I live in US Zone 6 where both these trees are hardy. Yay! They sell fruit trees, small shrubs, flowering plants, flowering trees, shade trees and evergreens all in the name of conservation. Not only will filing my property look beautiful, increase the value of my lot and provide shade and privacy and maybe some fruit, but it will also lend to worldwide conservation efforts and combating the greenhouse effect. These sound like pretty good reasons for me to join.
If you are interested in learning more and possibly getting some free trees go to arborday.org.