Trees im­por­tant part of daily lives

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - MICHAEL ALLEN

SOME of you must won­der about the seem­ingly never-end­ing im­pact dis­eases and pests have on our trees. Although I write a great deal about the prob­lems trees have, there is al­ways en­dur­ing value to hav­ing trees as a part of our daily lives. We have much to be thank­ful for when en­coun­ter­ing the end­less plea­sure we de­rive from our trees. I love speak­ing with kinder­garten class­rooms about trees. The typ­i­cal story I hear from chil­dren is that trees make them feel happy. Chil­dren read­ily de­velop a bond with a favourite tree on a park or school play­ground. One of my hob­bies is to col­lect the writ­ten wis­dom of so many au­thors about their views and en­coun­ters with trees. For many writ­ers trees em­body a spir­i­tual con­nec­tion with a uni­verse full of mys­tery. Through­out my 45 years work­ing with trees I have been amazed at the sheer num­ber of ref­er­ences to trees by scores of writ­ers. The qual­i­ties of trees act like mir­rors to the won­ders of the hu­man mind. They re­flect the no­blest in­gre­di­ents of our spirit and con­scious­ness. En­light­ened hu­man so­ci­eties ha­bit­u­ally ven­er­ate their old­est cit­i­zens. There is an en­dur­ing re­spect for age when it re­veals wis­dom from the mind’s in­ner depths of ex­pe­ri­ence. Cer­tain trees are un­ques­tion­ably the old­est bi­o­log­i­cal or­gan­isms on the Earth. Per­haps that as­pect of the longevity of trees is what we ad­mire as a stan­dard for our earthly ten­ure. Even when trees die peo­ple with an artis­tic sense of pur­pose can carve a me­mo­rial out of that tree. Spring and fall are great sea­sons to plant trees. Plant a tree to celebrate a birth­day, a mar­riage, or some other im­por­tant event in your life or in the lives of those close to you. Plant trees where they will not af­fect over­head wires, fences or build­ings. Get to know the fu­ture size of your tree. A sil­ver maple can be a nice look­ing tree but it needs plenty of room, it will grow to more than 12 me­tres tall within 20 to 25 years. When ma­ture this maple species can reach a height of more than 30 me­tres — and cause many prob­lems if it is not planted in the right lo­ca­tion. Take the time to ex­plore online or through li­brary books about the at­tributes of a tree that you ad­mire. Get to know ev­ery­thing about that species be­fore you pur­chase and plant it. If you are not sure about a tree or trees that you would like to pur­chase con­tact me, I will hap­pily talk trees with you! Michael Allen M.Sc.F., RPF (ret’d) is a con­sult­ing ur­ban forester, tree di­ag­nos­ti­cian and cer­ti­fied ar­borist. He can be reached at 204-831-6503 or



A pair of herons were carved from the trunk of this dead tree, giv­ing it new life.

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