Plant a tree, save the world

White Dogwood

What’s the big deal? All this talk about planting a tree to save the world does get our attention, but is it really that important? Well, Thomas Fuller is quoted as saying, “He that plants trees loves others besides himself.”

The nonprofit Arbor Day Foundation distributes trees nationally and gives free information on planting and caring for trees. And when you join its Trees for America campaign, you will receive 10 free trees. Granted, they are small, but they will not stay small for long. These trees are perfect for large and small spaces, and “they will soon provide food and habitat for songbirds.” You can contact them online at Arbor Day Foundation or just call (402) 473-9365. New members also get “The Tree Book,” which includes information about tree planting and care and the Arbor Day Newsletter. Hey, membership and the 10 free trees is only $10.

In 1872, the first official Arbor Day was held in Nebraska through the efforts of a man named J. Sterling Morton. An estimated 1 million trees were planted on the first Arbor Day. The Arbor Day Foundation began in 1972 and has over a million members fighting for trees. 

Their mission is to inspire people to plant, celebrate and nurture trees. They even work with the U.S. National Forest Service to plant trees in America’s national and state forests. One of the options for the 10 free trees new members receive is to donate them to the Forest Service.

By planting a tree, you take the first steps to offset your own carbon emissions. Trees keep our homes cooler while they add value to your home. Trees combat climate change. Trees clean the air and provide oxygen. Trees cool the streets and the city. They conserve energy. Trees shield us from ultraviolet rays. Trees provide food. They block bad views and bring people together.

Trees are amazingly good at offsetting carbon. The Arbor Day group calculates that our forests sequester about 10-20 percent of the world’s emissions each year. That is 90 percent of all U.S. carbon emissions! That makes our waters better, helps retard floods and stabilize soil, which increases wildlife habitat.

Trees really do make a world of difference. If we all plant a tree, we can “green-up” our communities and make a huge impact on our planet. Planting trees and restoring the forest on lands that have been vacant or poorly used is just plain sensible.

For your calendar

Mark your calendar for the Golden Triangle Rose Society’s Annual Rose Pruning Day on Feb. 4 at 8 a.m. at Wesley United Methodist Church on Folsom at Major Drive. You can team up with members of the Golden Triangle Rose Society to learn how to trim roses. Bring garden gloves and pruning sheers, and buckets or bags to carry home some of the cuttings free of charge. The group will then travel to the McFaddin-Ward House at 10 a.m. to prune its roses. Bring a friend and enjoy the fun!

Joette Reger is an avid gardener and prides  herself on staying up-to-date on the latest gardening activities and tips. She can be reached by e-mail at joreger [at] msn [dot] com and on Facebook at “Gardengate with Joette Reger.”