Trees. The word for me just conjures up pleasant visions. I remember lying back on the cool green grass under an azure blue sky with just the right amount of fluffy white clouds floating by as a child. (I sometimes still do this!) I am blessed with many trees in my yard and I have also planted many more. In fact, I love trees so much that I signed up for and completed Clarksville's Citizen Forester class last year. The class consisted of forty hours of instruction in basic care, identification, use and importance of trees. After completing the class all participants were then required to donate 25 hours of volunteer work in order to receive their certification from the state. Karla, the City Forester at the time, conducted the class and did a super job.
Well, today I got to use some of my knowledge while volunteering for a short period at Clarksville's Department of Electricity Expo. Dottie, the Clarksville Tree Board Chairman had a nicely set up display booth talking about the importance of trees, planting the right tree in the right spot, and why topping is very bad for trees. I was heartened to see how many people really care about trees! One woman said she had at one time had a tree topped on her property and she didn't understand at the time that was a bad thing for the tree. She said she wouldn't do it again and asked how to maintain trees. This is a hard question to answer. All trees need maintenance to some extent but people do not realize this fact. Selective pruning in accordance with standards set by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) is a good place to start. If a limb or a tree seems like it is going to fall on a 'target' (house, shed, roadway, fence, people), then it should be evaluated for a best remedy by a qualified arborist. Clarksville residents have a great resource in their City Forester, Jeremy. He would be the best place to start with any questions you have about trees and has a super column in the Leaf Chronicle on Thursdays. Many cities have foresters, and those of us in the county can gain help from the extension agents or even Citizen Foresters.
Another important fact about trees is that some studies have shown they can increase a home's value by as much as 10%! This does not even factor into account the energy cost savings trees can provide in the form of shade and evaporative cooling in the atmosphere.
Developers and utility companies as well as the general public are just now beginning to understand the importance of trees and are implementing ISA standards for care. I will talk more on good trees for planting in this area and some of the effects the drought has had on trees (as if you couldn't notice already) in a later entry. For now, I just want to say the next time you are hot and seeking shade under a tree; look up and appreciate that tree for the great thing it is and the many benefits it provides to society. Right tree-Right place!
in the garden....