The Importance of Trees


We have had some pretty darn nice weather here at the cottage the past few days. In fact, with the exception of one day that was rather windy and a little wet, the past week has been downright perfect. Not too hot and not too cold, just about right for outdoor activities. I took advantage of the weather to plant trees.

I spent a few afternoons strolling the woods looking for a deer. Spent a couple afternoons working on my ongoing reforestation project. That means I am planting some trees around the camp.

Plant Trees

I like to plant trees. If you plant trees you are actually creating a small legacy for the future. Someday my children might look at the trees and say, “Dad planted those trees”

Trees are wonderful things, for many reasons, trees provide protection from the wind, shade from the sun, help to resist erosion around the lakefront and trees give us some privacy from the neighbors and passing boats.

I have noticed that since we cut down quite a few of the trees to the north side of our property, the camp takes much more of a beating during the winter, and for that matter during stormy weather year round.

I like having the trees gone in one sense. I like the open feeling it provides, the look of the large expanse of open ground without trees is kind of nice, and certainly our view of the lake is expanded. However, that comes at a price and in sober second thought, I am kind of sorry I cut as many trees down as I did. That is why I decided to plant trees around the property.

Without the trees, particularly spruce trees, the building is open to the elements. We have lost more roof shingles in the 10 years since we cut the trees down, than we lost in 25 years when we had the thick woods with lots of spruce trees and fir trees beside us.

Cottages and camps always look nice when seen through some trees.
"pic of cottage in the trees"

Plant Trees To Provide Protection

Without trees our property is not as protected from the elements, and it is not quite as private without the forest around it. And without trees along the shore, we lose the erosion protection along the shoreline, particularly in these days of high water and severe storms that seem to be happening far too frequently.

When it comes to protection from the elements and privacy, it is hard to beat coniferous trees, spruce, pine, juniper, fir, Christmas tree type trees. They offer good protection from wind and blowing snow. Deciduous trees, hardwoods, like maple trees, birch trees, poplar trees make better shade trees as they grow tall, but because they drop their leaves in winter, they offer less protection from cold north winds.

Trees Make Oxygen

In addition to the obvious reasons for trees I mentioned above, trees are an important part of nature, making homes and shelter for wildlife, and providing us with much needed oxygen. There is a reason the air always seems fresher in the country, it’s the trees.

So does that mean I am planting trees all over the property? Well yes and no. I don’t want to lose all the view we have of the lake, but I am willing to lose a little of it to gain some protection in the form of some evergreen trees with some hardwoods mixed in for variety. I am planting mostly spruce trees, pine trees, maple trees and birch trees, although I have also an apple tree started as well.

To be clear, when I say I “plant trees” what I really mean is that I am “transplanting trees” That is taking a young tree and moving it somewhere that a tree is needed. I have access to some young trees, just a little bigger than seedlings, on one part of my property, plus I have a friend who has some woodland where I can get a few small trees.

I am also on the same reforestation kick at home in the city. Have been for a few years, growing trees in the backyard instead of all lawn and grass.

Give Some City Back To The Forest

I think it’s time we all consider giving some of the city back to nature. If we wait for the politicians to do it, chances are it will never happen. And by the way, one tree in your yard, although better than nothing, does not the forest make….

Actually, hardwoods, popular and maple for example, are known as pioneer species, because they will grow first after forest land is cleared and because they are not as shade tolerant as other trees, do well in open spaces. Other trees, like spruce and pine often do well with some shade, so they usually come along after the hardwoods are established.

Not Waiting For Nature

I am not waiting for nature to do it all for me, instead I am planting, (actually transplanting) some of both, just helping her along a bit. It’s also very satisfying to plant trees and watch them grow over the years, something like having children without the stress.

How about you, when was the last time you planted a tree and watched it grow?

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