The Tree Center

Plant a Tree – Your Gift to the Future

December 30, 2019

Written by Dave G.

2019 saw a lot of big stories. But the biggest was the final realization by people (most politicians still have some catching up to do) that we are in danger of leaving our children a planet in a much worse state than the one we inherited. It’s a big fix, calling for action on a collective scale, but there is one thing that each of us can do that is easy, enjoyable, and can really make a difference – PLANT A TREE.

What’s So Great About Trees?

Every new tree has the potential to trap hundreds of pounds of carbon from the atmosphere in its lifetime. Even when it does eventually decay it takes many years for that carbon to be released – and who knows what new solutions we will have found after of the hundred or so years that tree will live? Planting a tree now is more than just a symbolic gesture – it’s a real step in the right direction, and a tree does so much more than trap carbon (the technical term is ‘sequester’). Trees in urban settings cool the city, reducing air-con costs. If it shades your home, or shelters it from wind, then it saves you on power consumed. A tree provides a habitat for birds, insects, and even plants like lichens and mosses, so a city with trees is a living thing, preserving the environment.

Of course, if the tree doesn’t live long it won’t do its job of locking up carbon and greening our cities, but if everyone on the planet planted just one tree, and half of them lived, that would be almost five billions trees – the impact would be enormous. So when planting a tree the focus should be on doing everything we can to make sure it survives as long as possible. Let’s look at how to do that.

Trees for the Future

If you are planting for the future, not just to beautify your garden now, then it’s worth taking some time to make the right choice. Some of the things to consider are:

Remember that people make additions to their homes, or roads get re-routed, so try to plant in a spot where you reckon not much is likely to happen. If you don’t have room in your garden for a full-sized tree, talk to your city, or local schools. They may be happy to accept a tree from you, and at a school it can be a learning opportunity too.

If you have children, then keeping a journal of your tree’s progress, by measuring its height and trunk diameter every few months, can be a great lesson, and a way of building a bond with your Gift for the Future – all donations gratefully accepted.