look up

I took this photo the other day. I posted it on my gardening group’s Facebook page.

Why did I post it? Because the majesty of mature trees should be rejoiced in the garden. Too many trees get cut down, and not enough are cared for properly.

What was the response I received? People missing the point entirely. Comments and tree photos from group members discussing….hornets nests.

Not the segue I expected. Not why I posted it.

People! Look up and love on your trees a little!

I love our mighty oaks and other trees on our property and in our woods. Trees are so important and so are the right trees.

Our woods are predominately hard wood, mostly oak. We also have a magical hickory tree, beech, cherries, and maples.

Our trees provide a habitat for all sorts of birds and other forest critters.

I will admit I am obsessed with our oaks which are a mixture of white and red oaks. I also believe in the theory of reforestation and have planted appropriate saplings and removed trash trees.

With the help of nurseries like Yellow Springs Farm and Go Native Tree Farm I have planted some understory tree saplings, native shrubs, and Chestnut and Burr oak saplings. I have planted my saplings personally, but I appreciate the guidance and suggestions of these folks. From them, I learn. Their advice has been invaluable.

I have had as much of the poison ivy and sumac removed as possible. Dr. Umar Myka’s crews have done that. He is the Poison Ivy Horticulturist and so knowledgeable. He introduced me to the spear headed spade, my favorite garden spade too!

I cut down and yank some of the invasive weeds in our woods. Things like poke weed and Bishop’s weed which drive me crazy. I can’t get all of the weeds, though. And because it’s the woods I don’t think I should. Yes, it would be nice to have magical woods full of blue bells and ferns but it’s not realistic. And after a point we have to let the woods be the woods.

We have to take care of our woods and be better stewards of our open space. I see some who clear so much out of their woods they run the risk of changing their little bit of the local ecosystem. I see others who don’t care at all for their woods or their trees.

We do routine tree work. Or at least now it’s routine. When we first moved here it was anything but. The property and trees were seriously overgrown. I don’t think any tree work was ever done before we moved in unless an emergency necessitated it.

When it comes to trees, that is the incorrect approach in my opinion. Trees are a valuable asset to your property among other things. We use Treemendous Tree Care if you are interested, although that is also not the point of this post. I will tell you that whomever you use to care for your trees should be licensed and experienced. And you need to check their insurance.

Routine tree care can indeed be expensive until you get the routine established. But if you don’t do the tree care, you may live to regret it when a good nor’easter blows our way.

But why you should care for your trees is they are just so lovely to look at every day and through every season. And each one has its own shape and style. They are your garden stalwarts as well as a valuable asset aren’t they?

That is why I always tell my fellow gardeners to look up. It’s not just about the shrubs and the lawn and the flowers, it’s about the trees too. And every season brings a different look. And in the middle of winter they are the bones and a big part of the structure of your garden.

Trees are ever changing as they age. And our trees, while super tall and sturdy have this gracefulness when they move with the wind.

I will admit however, that when the winds are really blowing while fascinating to watch, sometimes it’s also a little scary… which is also why you want to do routine tree work — to cut down on potential damage.

I guess after a fashion I am a tree hugger. I love to look at trees. And also when you look at trees you can’t help but imagine what they have seen as they have stood the test of time.

Because of my love of trees I also belong to two arboretums. Jenkins and Scott. I also support Natural Lands and other places like Bartram’s Gardens and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. When you support organizations like this you’re not only gain access to magnificent properties which inspire you, but you gain access to knowledge about nature which can enrich your life, the lives of others, and your own garden.

Anyway when I said look up to my fellow gardeners, it wasn’t to look for the nests of pests or even birds or squirrels. It was just a suggestion to appreciate trees.

Look up.