Lasting Landscapes by Carol

Combating Climate Change by Planting Trees

I find myself constantly concerned about climate change which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says is increasing the odds of severe weather events. In my own backyard I’ve lost trees and experienced property damage at least three times in the last 18 months due to straight line winds and tornadic activity. In addition to the violent storms that are eliminating mature trees, pests like the Emerald Ash Borer, which is attacking Ash trees, and Bacterial Leaf Scorch, which is killing off Red Oaks, add to the elimination of the soldiers in our forests and neighborhoods.

Lasting Landscapes by Carol
An Ash tree dying from Ash Borer infestation

Multiple scientific studies encourage tree planting as a way to combat climate change by sequestering carbon and helping to offset human-caused green gas omissions. Experts debate whether the strategy of planting trees is the most effective solution and some argue that more analysis is required before fully implementing a strategy. I guess I’m somewhat impatient on this topic since I don’t like the idea of waiting for more information while our forests fail and our world overheats.

I believe the time is now for us to plant trees. It’s something each one of us can do. We can all contribute and lucky for us fall is a great time to plant.

If you have the space for a large tree, consider a Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) or a White Oak (Quercus alba). Although I won’t be here to see them grow to maturity, I’ll be planting some White Oak seedlings this fall as a succession plan for some of my large trees which are in decline or have been gravely damaged by storms.

Lasting Landscapes by Carol
A White Oak seedling

If you’d prefer a medium sized tree, consider a Kentucky Coffee Tree (Gymnocladus dioicus), a Redbud (Cercis canadensis), Persian Ironwood (Parrotia persica ‘Vanessa’) or Korean Sweetheart Tree (Euscaphis japonica). I have installed all four of these trees on my property in the last twelve months.

Lasting Landscapes by Carol
The Kentucky Coffee Tree provides wonderful shade and structure with minimal leaf litter
Lasting Landscapes by Carol
Cercis canadensis ‘Flamethrower’ in the landscape

Have a tiny home or lot?  What about Chinese Fringtree (Chionanthus retusus) or Columnar Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum ‘Monumentale’). Yep, I planted those too!

Lasting Landscapes by Carol
Acer ‘Monumentale’ only gets two feet wide, but grows twenty feet tall

Any of these amazing trees (and many others) will not only benefit the environment but also beautify your space and bring you years of enjoyment. And that’s a strategy I’m hoping we can all support.

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