Trees coexist in all stages of their evolution, everywhere on this planet. They filter the air, water, and soil in the ecosystem. In addition to commercial and industrial uses, trees provide shade, cool the atmosphere, are a source of food, medicine, heat, and folklore. They also enhance the environment, provide a refuge for the inner spirit, and therapy to the physical senses. Who can deny the enchanting serenity generated by the glowing embers of a crackling wood fire? With their expressive displays of winding limbs cascading through atmospheric heights, trees have long been a source of artistic inspiration.
The Versatile Nature of Trees
A broad range of industries use trees, for the manufacture of a wide array of products. From construction, furniture, carpentry, paper, paper products, and textiles, to chopsticks, automotive products, and food and beverage additives. Even In the real-estate industry, it is widely known that certain trees can increase property values by up to 27%.
There are over 23,000 different varieties of trees. Versatility is one of their best features. The Black walnut tree, for instance, is a deciduous hardwood, prized in the furniture industry, valued aesthetically, and highly regarded for it’s solid structure and durability. The Black walnut tree provides a nutritionally valued food, medicine, (varied applications), natural dye, (used in tanning), and an insecticide. It can grow to more than 100 feet in height, and 4 feet in diameter.
What to Consider Before Choosing Tree Species
The tallest tree officially recorded is a Coast Redwood, (Sequoia), in California, measuring 115.72 meters, or 379 feet. The Montezuma Cyprus, found in Mexico is the widest tree on record, at 36.2 meters, (118 feet). Important information to consider when beginning tree cultivation includes, the tree’s projected dimensions at maturity, the depth, and spread of roots, and soil, sun, and water requirements. Weather your interest is in enhancing your environment, living sustainably, or developing a source of income, there are a variety of options available to obtain, and cultivate trees, and tree seedlings.
Where to Buy Trees
The following methods can accommodate any budget:
- Nurseries, and Garden Centers at Large Retail Outlets: If you are intent on purchasing 1-10 trees, or want to develop a collection of plants and trees, nurseries and garden centers usually carry a variety. They generally stock an evolving selection of trees and plants that are most suitable to their specific geographic climate and season. In the spring, march through may, retailers will begin expanding their stock to accommodate the seasonal shift. Not only do their prices vary, you can find trees significantly marked down toward the end of the season, (mid-July through August). In additition to retailing plants more consistently, nurseries typically offer more extensive information on plants than garden centers, for the simple fact that plants are their primary retail item.
- Florist Found in Grocery Stores: The florist department can easily be overlooked along with the music played over the speaker system at grocery chain stores. However, you may find a unique and interesting variety of plants and trees throughout the year, and increasingly so from spring to fall.
It’s a little known fact that you can buy native tree seedlings, (one year old), in bulk, at little cost through your state’s department of forestry. It is in the interest of the environment to provide this service to the public. Each state has it’s own guidelines, rules, and native selection of trees. If you’re interest is in a certain species, in some instances, you can order from out-of-state.
Orders are generally handled on a first come, first served basis, and residents of that state will take priority. To find the website, enter the following into the web browser search box: The abbreviation for your state and [.forest service.gov/nursery]. They can additionally give you planting instructions.
Consider planting trees and plants for medicinal value. You can begin with more popular varieties. Sage and Rosemary are two perennial herbs that resiliently bounce back from freezing cold temperatures. You can purchase seed starters, and start growing medicinal plants indoors to help ensure successful development.
Cost Free Methods of Obtaining Trees
- Tree Cuttings: Depending on the species, there are different methods for easy propagation of trees. Tree cuttings will have to develop root fibers for successful planting and growth. Air-layering is one method of tree propagation.
- Local, state parks: Parks can provide an instant refuge from stress, and enhance your appreciation for the natural wonders around you. They are also an inexhaustive reference point for your curiosity, including plant and ecological research. You can find a park in your state at: [Http://www.nps.gov/findapark/index.htm],
- Or, search for the nearest campground at: [Http://www.recreation.gov/]
You are not on your own with regards to acquiring the necessary information for growing and cultivating trees and plants. In my experience, I find those involved in horticulture eager to share valuable knowledge on this topic. From an ecological stand-point, the public’s awareness, and interest is beneficial. Furthermore, on an individual level it is personally uplifting to observe and reap the many rewards of the plant world.
- Some valuable sources of information: [www.gardenguides.com], [www.forestfarm.com], [http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/].
Bibliography: “Tree Facts”. NC state university college of agriculture & life sciences department of horticultural science. [www.ncsu.edu/project/treesofstrength/treefact.html] [11/07/2015.];
“The Tallest, and Oldest Trees Worldwide”. Monumental Trees. [Http://www.monumentaltrees.com/en/].[11/07/2015.]