The Green Blog
Plant a tree!

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When you are going green, you should definitely take advantage of your “green thumb.” Planting trees is the easiest and most beneficial way to helping the environment. Trees and their importance are often overlooked because we never really stop to consider or appreciate the natural world around us.

April 28 is Arbor Day. Arbor Day (or Arbour; from the Latin arbor, meaning tree) is a holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees. Today, many countries observe such a holiday. Though usually observed in the spring, the date varies, depending on climate and suitable planting season. What a great time to plant a tree!

Trees improve our air quality by filtering harmful pollutants such as ozone, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide. Trees also give off good ol’ oxygen and reduce the amount of storm water runoff, which inevitably reduces erosion and pollution in our waterways and may in fact reduce the effects of flooding. Trees aren’t just evolutionary clever machines; they provide food and protection and are also homes for many animals.

There are also economic benefits to growing trees. Statistics show that: “Well-placed trees can reduce your cooling costs in the summer by shading the south and west sides of your home. If deciduous trees are used, they will allow the sun to pass through and warm your home in the winter. Evergreen trees on the north side of your home and shrubs around the foundation of your home can act as a windbreak to reduce the cooling effects of winter winds.” Source: Going Green

In addition, trees can add to the value of your property. The Management Information Services/ICMA says, “Landscaping, especially with trees, can increase property values as much as 20 percent.”

Trees also have great social benefits. Trees are very relaxing and reduce the amount of stress you have if you enjoy taking a leisurely stroll outdoors. Having a “tree planting party” could be a great idea for a get-together with friends who are also trying to find ways to go green.

When should you plant a tree? The ideal time to plant trees and shrubs is during the dormant season. Aim for the fall after leaf drop or early spring before budbreak. Weather conditions are cool and allow plants to establish roots in the new location before spring rains and summer heat stimulate new top growth. However, trees properly cared for in the nursery or garden center, and given the appropriate care during transport to prevent damage, can be planted throughout the growing season. In tropical and subtropical climates where trees grow year round, any time is a good time to plant a tree, provided that sufficient water is available. Learn more at Trees are Good and When to Plant Trees: The Short Version.

By planting trees you are giving back to the planet and helping it grow. Let’s strengthen the roots of this world by making it a stronger and greener place!

Visit the Arbor Day Foundation here.

Also, read: You’re Not the Only One With Insomnia: City Trees Don’t Sleep Well, Either (ecosalon)