Don’t Just Hug a Tree – Get to Know it First
Spring has certainly sprung and while nature is blossoming and budding, it’s a great time to discover the many different types of trees we see every day and explore the uncommon ones. Check out some of our ideas for being the best tree hugger and nature lover you can be. Some thoughtful environmental tips are included!
-Start with your state tree. It’s likely that that will be the prevalent one in local parks and neighborhoods. In the tri-state area, New Jersey’s is the Black Oak; New York’s is the Sugar Maple; Connecticut’s state tree is the Charter Oak; and Pennsylvania’s is the Eastern Hemlock. When traveling, look for the state tree at your destination.
-When planting a tree in your yard or participating in a neighborhood project, it is suggested that you select indigenous varieties that are suited to the site’s conditions. This not only lowers the cost of maintaining the trees, but they are well adapted to the weather conditions.
-Trees are identified in a number of ways. Some are likely to grow in certain physical locations. For instance, a Weeping Willow will often be found near a stream or pond because they require a lot of water.
-Trees can be identified by their leaves but because some types look similar, consider getting to know what the bark looks like as well. You can use a simple tree guide or discover some of the phone apps that actually identify for you when you snap a photo.
-A visit to an arboretum is one of the most helpful ways to learn about trees as each one often has a placard. If you love the look of a tree and want to recall it, take a picture of both the tree and the placard.
-Blossoms are an early spring delight. Tulip, Cherry, Magnolia, and Dogwood bloom in April and May on the East Coast. Take advantage of the splendor of these trees and bring your camera on local walks to capture the beauty.
-Trees are essential to maintaining a healthy environment. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, in one year a mature tree will absorb more than 48 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen in exchange.
-Love birds, love trees. Your tree is a haven for wildlife and the perfect place to hang a bird feeder or birdhouse.
Want to know more? Visit web sites such as the Arbor Day Foundation and learn the location of an arboretum near you.
Photo by Marina P. Kennedy