This year when asked what I wanted for my birthday, other than to be left alone, I said I wanted a tree.  Not telling anyone here the date - that's not what this is about - but what I did, which is what this is about.

After many decades of inhaling oxygen, and exhaling CO2, I chose a tree.  (Actually I've planted many trees over the years, but this is my commemorative tree).  The tree will breath in CO2, make oxygen, and sequester CO2 in its wood.  It will make shade, and pollen for bees to make honey.  I think fruit trees don't count so much for carbon sequestration - they don't make enough wood and don't live long enough - but they are better than lawn - but a shade tree does count. 

The full story of what I chose, and why, are in this blog post on my personal blog.  I'm not trying to drive traffic to my blog - I don't get paid for it, it's just my garden diary.  Just not wanting to double post or rewrite the same thing here.

No way to know if a future generation will cut down the tree, or let it grow.  I hope they let it grow.  Linden trees - what I chose - are versatile, adaptable trees that survive a variety of climates and can live for many centuries.  I hope it takes some of my CO2 and makes some wood out of it.  

This type of tree has a story that I liked.  The lane Linneaus comes from Lindens.  They are in the fossil record, they have been used for carving religious iconography, they are in religious legends, the leaves have been used in food and the flowers to make honey and blossom tea.  They are fragrant and incredibly long lived, when given a chance.

I think planting a tree is a great way to commemorate buying a house, a birth, a birthday, or in memory of someone who has died.  It's a way to "pay it forward", our gratitude for the trees that gave us air, and influenced the rains, and sometimes that have fed us, cooled us, and given us nurturing.  It's a way to pause, commemorate, ponder, and reflect on life and past and future generations.

Fall is a great time to plant a tree.  It allows the roots to settle in and start to support the tree before Spring.  There are tree sales in the fall, so you get a better price.  Trees that have been left in the lot all summer, and survived, may not be the most certain choice to thrive, but if they do survive, the price should be good, and it's a head start on next Spring, when the trees for sale will be a little smaller than those from end of summer, cost more, and not have the chance to settle their roots into your soil.  I'm not expert- take what I say with a grain of salt - but it makes sense to me.

I had to lay the tree down in my small pickup truck, tie the branches in a bundle so they wouldn't whip around in the wind, and let it hang over the back several feet.  I had it bundled with other trees that I bought, so they protected each other.  I stayed away from the interstate so I could drive more slowly.  It survived the trip intact, without much if any leaf damage.  There is some sunburn on the leaves, but I think that's OK.  Lots of tree leaves here have sunburn now, and the leaves will fall soon as they enter dormancy.

We'll know next year if the tree made it through it's ordeal OK.  I think it did.

Tags: ceremony, climate change, ritual, tree

Views: 46

Replies to This Discussion

Wonderful story! I think I will plant one in the spring.
Oh - sorry I meant fall. So I guess I need to make a trip to the nursery.

Congratulations for your birthday(whenever that was) and for the great idea. 

Well done.

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