Sunday, February 24, 2013

Plant a Tree - Save the Earth

15 trees to be exact.  
I am delighted to finally bring home my new trees from the native plant sale through our county conservation district.  What a wonderful program this is!  They send out a lovely order form a couple of months ahead of time (mine is via email) and the selection is varied, from native brush to fifty foot trees!

This year I purchased five Pacific Dogwood, five Red Osier Dogwood and five Pacific Crabapple.  They come in packs of five, which seemed like a lot to me, but the prices couldn't be beat.

photo courtesy freepicturesweb.com  
First up is the Pacific Dogwood.  Best (free) photo I could find on the web (tree trunk not included!)  It can grow to fifty feet!!  These are native to the Pacific Northwest as well as many other places.  The flower is sweet and intoxicating in spring.  
They like their solitude so will do nicely on my hill with good drainage.

courtesy wikipedia
Next up is the Red Osier Dogwood.  It's a bush that is bright red in winter - which is stunning against the snow!  It will be a nice screen for the hot sun come summer when they are full of leaves.  They can grow to fifteen feet and spread their roots underground.

courtesy wikipedia
I couldn't find a definition for a "Pacific" crabapple, as there are possibly thirty species of crabapple.  But since it too is a native for here, it will only need northwest sunshine and rain.  

Now all of these are tasty delights for deer, but will be protected with fencing while they mature.  Meanwhile the blossoms will draw even more hummingbirds and butterflies to my yard!

Yesterday I walked the lot (less than an acre) to scope out good planting spots.  I took plant stakes with little flags on them to pound in the ground for markers.  This way as the next few days go by I can look out my windows at the stakes and decide if they are indeed good places.

My goal is more than just planting trees for the environment.  That is a wonderful goal, and everyone should do it, but I also am thinking about the future of my home; it's value, and the benefits of having trees, for both myself and the wildlife.

Deciduous trees provide wonderful shade in the summer, but allow the much needed (and sparse) sunshine in winter.  So the large dogwood trees will live on the hill behind my house - between me and the southern sunshine.
The other two species will dot the landscape and just add a more northwest feel here.

While it will take some years before they provide that shade, it will still be a joy to know they are there.

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