July 8th, 2019 — Plant a Tree

Plant a Tree

It’s not Arbor Day so this isn’t exactly timely but I just read an article about the USDA’s findings on atmospheric carbon and I thought about what we can do to help.  Planting trees was my answer.  

We’re lucky having plenty of room for trees, we’ve dedicated one field to be our new wood lot.  For years now we’ve been harvesting the dead Ash trees we lost to Emerald Ash Borers for our firewood but it won’t last forever so we’ve been incubating trees in the garden and getting them a bit bigger for transplanting.

One of our fields is usually too wet to plow and plant so it’s been its own tree nursery.  Oaks, poplars and willows are thriving under their own care. We have white oak, burr oak and chestnuts in the garden waiting to join them, possibly next year.  Our woodlot is on it’s way.

The last of the sugar maples graduated from the garden this year and are doing well thanks to all the abundant spring rain.  We might have to wait 10 years to harvest maple syrup from them but in the meantime they’ll sequester carbon, give the cows shade and us beautiful fall color.  

The orchard we started in the back yard with five fruit trees has room for another 10 trees, I can add five a year for two or maybe three years and give us even more food choices.

We planted a tree to shade the chicken coop and dog kennel, once it’s bigger we won’t have to cover the dog house with a tarp to give relief from summer heat and sun.  The front paddock has a tree gifted to me by a friend and a willow, that will be a small haven for cows and sheep during dog days.

Once the oaks in the garden are ready to transplant I have a spot picked out for three or four of them in the paddocks behind the barn.  More summer shade and acorns for the pigs living near the barn. Pork fattened on forest mast is a delicacy in Spain. I can’t wait to try some of our own.

Tom would like to tuck a few trees in the thicket next to one of our ponds and we’ve added a few fruit trees for wildlife next to another pond, the one we’ve picked out to use for glamping.  I can’t wait to see how pretty it will be once we get it tidied, the trees grow big enough to be a splash of color in the spring and the ducks return again to nest. Ducks use that pond, the cranes like the one the cows drink from and any geese that stop by are using the third pond, sharing with our occasional heron.

That still leaves us our west property line to add a windbreak to, some blue spruces are targeted for that spot and Kyle’s first land purchase can use a good fence row’s worth of trees to make another windbreak, I need to order more trees and get started!

Where can you add a tree to your yard?  Would it be an ornamental tree, or one that will produce food for you and your family?  Candy

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