You look at that brown twig sitting in a bucket of soil at your local plant nursery and think, “Why should I plant this puny little tree?”
My question is, “Why shouldn’t you plant a tree?”
Trees are incredible. This is a fact. If there were no trees, the world would be a sad, sad place. They take all the carbon dioxide that we exhale every day, along with the carbon dioxide produced from our civilized technologies (factories, farms, automobiles, etc.), and turn it into something useful: oxygen. Oxygen is pretty important. Without oxygen, where would we be? Point proven: trees are important!
Trees also provide a wide variety of products: paper, maple syrup, gum, lumber for building, rubber and fruit like apples, peaches, oranges, and a wide variety of nuts. In your yard, trees serve as wildlife attractants by providing habitat and food for your favorite critters. They also reduce your electric bill during the heat of summer by simply providing your house some shade.
Trees are not only functional to us as humans, but also inspirational. Trees have inspired valuable literature to our youth for example. Who could forget The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, or The Lorax by Dr. Suess?
The ‘Tree of Life” is a spiritual and mythological symbol that has been used in many cultures for thousands of years. Trees symbolize wisdom, protection, and strength. They also represent the interconnectedness of the universe. The roots absorb valuable nutrients from the earth, which are transported through the trunk and branches and eventually the leaves. Every year, dead leaves are shed at the beginning of winter, but then new leaves bud out and grow with the warmth of spring.
What could be more symbolic than planting a tree? The very act of planting a tree shows dedication, hope, and faith toward the future. There is a Greek proverb that says, “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”
Alright, are you still looking at the sad little sapling at your plant nursery? Have I convinced you to take a leap of faith and plant it in the ground? Fantastic, it’s the perfect time of year to plant a tree! You’re now tasked with a difficult decision. What tree to plant?