Why Plant Trees

Why plant trees.


Spring time is when we look around our yards and think about trees. Trees are a long term investment and many have planted that did not live to see shade or fruit from their endeavour. I have heard people say to me that they they were only going to be in that house for a few years and it wasn’t worth planting. They would never be there to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Let me share a tree story with you that may change your mind if you are hesitant to plant trees. I met a girl once, she was beautiful and all smiles. I asked her out on a date and since I defy convention as a matter of course I invited her to come help me plant a tree. It was kind of a test of how cool she was and I needed to plant a tree for a friend anyway. I don’t remember everything about the date other than I had a great time with this girl who didn’t turn her nose up at my eccentries. As we dug the hole and worked together we bonded as tree planting associates. I can’t remember what we talked about that day-probably just small talk as we barely knew each other. We didn’t have to struggle to make up exciting conversations as we were working and working put us both at ease. It was just a great experience all around. Later we would go on traditional dates with dinner and a movie and all that, but the date that stuck in my mind was the first. Eventually over time we would fall in love, marry and have children. Ten years later we are still together, still in love and we still plant trees together.
I have driven past the house on occasion, always a little tense, wondering if chainsaw or disease has managed to claim our prize tree. It has been well taken care of and grown tremendously. No longer a small twig against the elements it has become a solid shade tree. It’s not quite tire swing ready, but it’s getting there.
There is a sense of doing something to make the world a better place when you plant a tree. It has nothing to do with science and politics for me as I care little for politically correct tree huggery-I have cut down thousands of trees. It has to to do with our need to leave a legacy, make the world a better place and to do good.
The friend who was paying me to plant the tree knew that he would sell the house soon. He was an ‘empty-nester’ and the house was bigger than they needed. He planted trees even though he knew someone else would be living in that house. It was a gift to an anonymous future owner, freely given. Is there some kind of cosmic karma that those who plant trees for others will have trees planted for them? Or, taking it a step further into the unknown, if I plant for someone else’s grandchildren will someone plant trees for mine? I think so.
Plant a tree to show you have faith and hope in the future. If you don’t have that kind of cheerful optimism that infects tree planters you have to plant one to catch the spirit of it. It takes a leap of faith.


Nathan