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Why Plant a Tree?

 
Anne Miller
pollinator
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Location: USDA Zone 8a
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Destiny Hagest wrote:Bill Mollison left a mark on this world that won't soon be forgotten. His closest friends and family have asked that the world honor him by planting a tree to remember him by. If you share images of your tree for Bill online, please use the hashtag #PlantedForBill.


Other reasons:
Trees produce oxygen
Trees store carbon
Trees produce shade and can help with your electric bills by cooling your home with shade.
Trees provide shelter, food and cover for birds and many other wildlife.
Many trees are lost each years due to Dutch elm disease, emerald ash borer, pine beetle, fire, flood, drought and other perils.

Can you share other reason to plant trees?

Do you have a favorite tree?  Mine are Mimosa and Crape Myrtle [sometimes considered a shrub, but many I have seen grow quite tall].
 
John Alabarr
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Firewood,
leaf mulch,
Nuts/seeds,
Sap sugar,
Carving wood (baseball bats, hammer handles)

 
Karen Donnachaidh
pollinator
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Trees provide mulch (as a deep rooted dynamic accumulator), carbon or nitrogen source for composting, seed inoculation
Trees provide materials for human housing, barns, fences/pens,bridges, plows, bases of buried wood garden beds/ hugelcultures,plant supports
Trees provide food, tea, water (and aid in water catchment), medicines, tools, transportation (boats/canoes), materials for bows to hunt with, fishing rods for catching fish, materials to start fires and to burn as a fuel source, materials for clothing, containers, dyes, paper products
You know that this list can go on and on..,...getting tired. Trees for beds and bedding. Whew!
 
K Putnam
Posts: 189
Location: Unincorporated Pierce County, WA Zone 7b
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Trees are pretty.  They (eventually) block the view of your neighbor's yard.   They come in many different colors that can be combine to create an aesthetically pleasing palette while doing their main job, which is to function as trees.  

Trees are also easy to transplant, once they get to a certain size.  I have killed far more flowers, vegetables, and shrubs than I have trees. 

Trees can act as a windbreak, though in my area, cedar + doug fir + big leaf maple + a November windstorm = terror. 

 
Nicole Alderman
pollinator
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Trees are fun to climb, and to play in and around.
Trees provide materials for imaginative play and learning.
Some trees make lovely sounds when their leaves rustle in the wind.
Trees can be festive, such as Christmas trees. They help connect us to nature and traditions and family.

Some trees provide homes for nitrogen-fixing lichens, which provide food for various animals as well as nitrogen for the plants.
Some trees fix nitrogen themselves.
Trees create cooler microclimates, and help create rainier ecosystems.
Trees' roots interact with the roots of other plants via with fungus' mycorrhizae  to spread nutrients.
Trees roots provide the sugars fungus needs to survive...and thus supplies us with mushrooms!
Trees provide microclimates that allow other shade-loving, &/or cooler-temperature-loving, &/or acid-loving, etc. plants to live and thrive in.
Some trees host various plant species, such as licorice ferns, and some mosses, that do not grow anywhere else.
Trees, when they die, become nursery logs for other species (like red huckleberry or western hemlock) to grow on. Standing dead trees provide vital habitat for certain animals.
 
Nicole Alderman
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As for a favorite tree, I think mine would be apple. They provide food, a place to climb, shade, lovely flowers, habitat, and happy memories. They are beautiful and useful. There's just something almost magical about a mature apple tree.
 
John Polk
steward
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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..Firewood..

One of the best examples of solar energy:
A tree soaks up sunlight for its lifetime.
That soaked up energy is released into your home on a winter night.

The tree has served many functions before it gives its last hoorah in your fireplace.



 
Marco Banks
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Because you love your grandchildren . . . even if you are in your 20's and haven't found your life partner yet.

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago.  The next best time is today.  A tree is a legacy.
 
steve bossie
Posts: 260
Location: Northern Maine (zone 3b-4a)
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to protect the earth and us from the drying and sometimes destructive winds. without trees bare earth is naked and exposed killing life in the soil. also holds soil in place to keep it from being washed away by heavy rain.
 
Devin Lavign
pollinator
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Some wonderful reasons to plant trees.

Another is to have a friend that will grow through out your life that you can watch and enjoy, maybe even hug if you like.

The right tree planted will live longer than you, and your kids and grandkids can watch it grow and remember you as the one who planted it.
 
Anne Miller
pollinator
Posts: 462
Location: USDA Zone 8a
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Here is a discussion on the Mimosa.  It is a nitrogen fixer.  Some consider it an invasive but I never had a problem with them.  If you don't want the seed pods be sure to ask your nursery for a male, as I believe it is the female that has the seed pods.  The pretty delicate blossum can be a problem so plant away from patios.

http://permies.com/t/8369/Invasive-trees-nitrogen-source



 
Anne Miller
pollinator
Posts: 462
Location: USDA Zone 8a
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I am trying to learn to add a photo so I don't know why it didn't work

Mimosa
 
Theo Kiriopoulos
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Is there really a better feeling that only comes after years of growing with a tree? Watching it grow tall and strong! I can't think anything more satisfying.
 
David Cummins
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The world seems to be using more of them than are growing, but regardless of the statistics, we need them in huge amounts. and for all the reasons posted and more.


 
Glenn Herbert
gardener
Posts: 1977
Location: Upstate NY, zone 5
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Thirty some years ago when I was starting my house, I transplanted a white oak sapling near the front door location. It took fine, but a borer cut off the growing top. A sucker came up from the roots and was as tall as the original in a couple of years. A borer cut that one off. A third sucker came up, and is now over 10" dbh and shading the driveway while the first two are still alive at 3-5".

Planting a tree involves you in the living world.
 
Forus Tserof
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Location: Zone 5
forest garden trees
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It helps the plants win

plus Ecosystem_Services
 
Roberto pokachinni
pollinator
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Caribou need forests that are a minimum of 25 years old for habitat.  As the forest grows to that age or older it develops a much greater complexity, including many more lichens and fungi.  The clearing of boreal forests not only has disrupted this habitat cycle, but has increased the wolf and coyote population which naturally prey on caribou, furthering their decline.  (it is said that it will be a very sad day indeed when we can actually count the number of caribou---may they live long and prosper)  Trees, and especially full blown large intact forests, form habitat and climate on a time scale and complexity that humans seldom come close to understanding/comprehending when creating forest 'management' plans

Trees work directly and deeply with mineral soils , macro fungi, and the voluminous microbial ecology. 

Trees stabilize the groundwater.  I've seen a formerly forested area turn into a swamp after the old growth was cleared because the water table rose so much.

They help to stop water and wind erosion, by slowing and calming water and wind flow patterns.  

Hugulkultur! 

Safer bird roosts and nesting spots.

Trees offer differing heights where select insect species are locally endemic (only will live at that place).  Some insects and birds will only survive in a place where their is a certain height of tree. Upper canopies of old growth forests are places where many new species are still being discovered.

Trees are the only place that I've seen plants growing so far off the ground with no mineral soils. In the case of the Coastal Oldgrowth on Haida Gwaii, I've seen salal, huckleberry, sword ferns, and even hemlock trees growing in the upward curving arms of large western red cedars a hundred feet above the ground.

Trees transpire a massive amount of ground water into the air, and thus create rain in distant locations.    
 
Roberto pokachinni
pollinator
Posts: 1078
Location: Fraser Headwaters, B.C., Zone3, Latitude 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
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I transplanted a white oak sapling near the front door location
This is part of a cools story that Glenn is relating, but I just wanted to point out that in my way of thinking: I would never contemplate planting what is to become a large tree close to my house.  Not only has it potential to fall wholesale or drop large branches on the house, it also as the potential to tear into foundation material (destabilizing the house), drain tiles, sewage/greywater systems (destabilizing necessary flow patterns).

The Indigenous People's of the Pacific North Coast, through great cost of time and labor (using stone tools and charring fires), would clear the coastal oldgrowth trees so that their longhouses would not have any potential tree fall upon them.
 
Karen Donnachaidh
pollinator
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Location: Palmyra, Virginia
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Hello Theo, David and Forus. Welcome to Permies! Glad y'all are tree fans too!

Anne, love a mimosa. Reminds me of my grandma's house. Love a weeping willow too.
 
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