Tree of Life


Everyone is tired of being stuffy in the house all winter. The weather is beginning to warm, and spring is everywhere. This Thursday we are going to outside to Make A Difference. Want to get a little dirty and MAD?

One of the best things to do for yourself, the environment and your electric bill is plant a tree. Triple the benefits…this one is a no miss.


Chestnut- Tall, climbable, swings, nuts

We all want to breathe cleaner air. We also want to do it as cheaply as possible. Enter the tree.

Since trees produce oxygen and reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution, they deal a double impact on the environment. How much?

One acre of trees can produce enough oxygen for 18 people everyday. That same acre of trees can absorb the CO2 of a car driven 26,000 miles.

If every American family would plant just one tree, the trees would reduce

One Billion Pounds

of CO2 from the atmosphere…annually.


Tree frogs eat mosquitoes and ants.

Trees are habitat for many insects and animals. Even if you are not an animal lover, you need some of these animals.


Even if you are not a fan of their dusk song, frogs are natural exterminators. They join forces with the birds in keeping the mosquito population in check.


Bees colonize in trees. When they pollinate the surrounding flora, you reap the benefits of flowers and extra garden fruits. If you know someone who is qualified to harvest it, you could have some honey as well.


Bird watching is a relaxing past time which is one of the ways trees can help reduce stress. Birds spread seeds to plant volunteer trees and plants in their area.


If you are not Moroccan, you may never have considered have tree goats, but they are amazing fun. They are here today on a repeat performance at M3.


Trees reduce stress. Oh, yes, they do. Think about sitting under the arbor of a giant weeping willow. Know why it is so relaxing? You are getting more pure oxygen in your system. Cleaner air causes your body to work less at reducing free radicals from the air. Your brain functions better with cleaner air.

Clearer thought and less tax on your body equals less stress.

Trees are also fun. Do you remember the last time you climbed a tree? Have any tree house memories? Did you ever sit in a swing hung from a tree branch?

Red's favorite flowering tree.


Trees, especially flowering trees, are beautiful. Do you know anyone whose day is not brightened when they get flowers? Thought not. Planting flowering trees is a way for you to give yourself flowers everyday for weeks at a time.

Flowering trees have a habit of attracting caterpillars. Do not be poisoning them. Caterpillars become beautiful butterflies and moths which make your tree produce more flowers.

Saving Money

When we get a chance to MAD and keep dollars in our wallets, there really is no reason to sit idle. Want to know how to save money with trees?


Planting three strategically placed trees around your home will provide enough shade (and protection in winter) to reduce your household heating and cooling costs by as much as 50%.

Wind & Rain

Planting plots of trees not only regulates the amount of oxygen in an area but also creates a wind block. The changing the wind pattern and restoring the nitrogen-oxygen ratio in the atmosphere helps promote the conditions necessary for rainfall. Rain is free water.

Gasoline & Fuel

Landscaping with trees and shrubs means a smaller portion of your property which you must mow. Less mowing means less fuel consumption. Less fuel consumption means saving money and less pollution. Double win.

Noise Pollution

Landscaping of highways and sidewalks is a triple win.

  1. The trees absorb the ambient pollution from traffic.
  2. Leaves and branches block out sound.
  3. Mulching of tree roots reduces the area needing mowing. (Saving money.)

Property Value

Planting trees is an investment in your property. Indigenous trees conform your property to its natural habitat, while exotic trees add personality. Choose exotic trees with care, as they may not find your climate truly hospitable.

Free Trees

In cooperation with the National Forestry Department, most states have access to fledgling and juvenile trees which are free to the public. Contracts are available through forestry. If you are willing to plant a plot of trees and agree not to fell them for timber for at least 25 years, forestry will donate the trees to you. Contact your local forestry office for details.

Make A Difference

You can make a difference in your environment and your life with trees.

1. Contact your local nursery. They can give you a list of trees which are native to your location. These trees will be the hardiest because they have adapted to your climate.

You cannot make lemonade without lemons.

2. Choose a tree. Trees give property an air of personality. Do you want your yard to burst into color or be evergreen? Do you like the bleakness of bare winter trees? They are beautiful when coated in ice!

3. Decide where to plant your tree. Whether you are seeking to beautify your land or have designs on saving money, choose where your trees should live based on their mature size. Planting too close to structures which inhibit root and branch growth shortens the length of your tree’s natural lifespan.

4. Donate a tree. If you do not have a yard of your own, you can give the gift of a tree to someone else. It will be a living reminder of your appreciation or love.

5. Dedicate a tree. Cemeteries, churches and civic organizations regularly plant trees in memory of people. While some will go to elaborate (read expensive) measures to memorialize the tree, you can give the gift of a tree to them and record the memorial where those who should remember can.

6. Sponsor a tree. Landscaping efforts along highways are a global project. You can donate to the organizations planting the trees or your national transportation entity with your donation earmarked for trees.

7. Volunteer. Forestry departments are always in need of volunteers to plant trees. Most forestry departments will supply the trees if you are willing to plant them. You can volunteer for the organizations landscaping in your area. No one turns down free labor.

8. Have a party. Raise funds with your friends. Use the money to purchase trees and soil. Get your neighbors and teammates together to get down and dirty. Plant some trees.

9. Plant with a child. This will be the child’s tree. Give a child the opportunity to see how the tree grows as they age. Take pictures alongside it to see how fast they both grow. Try two or three varieties to compare growth differences between the species.

This is great for grandchildren, your own children, nieces and nephews, neighborhood children or children of friends. Get another generation involved in planting trees.

You do MAD.

You DO Make A Difference.

All of us can make a difference our own lives and in the environment. Are you willing to take Red up on a challenge?

100 million trees reduce 18 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere every year and can save around $4 billion in utility costs (further reducing air pollution).

Red is challenging you to make a difference in three steps.

  1. Pledge to plant trees.
  2. Plant the trees.
  3. Report your progress.

Can you help reach the goal of 100 million trees? If you are willing, comment below with your pledge to plant at least one tree. When your tree is planted, comment again. Send this post to anyone who will take the challenge.

Better still? Send this post to someone who you do not think will take the challenge. They may not know why trees are so very important to our everyday lives. You can Make A Difference in their lives. Convince someone to join the Challenge and plant a tree.


When was the last time you planted a tree? Did you know trees save money? Do you need Red to publish the directions for how to plant a tree? Will you take Red’s MAD Challenge and plant a tree?

(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2012
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  1. Great environmental initiative my friend,we have programmes running like that here in Australia, I am renting at the moment and miss having my own home where I grew many species of threes and a small orchard, maybe one day I will get that part of my past back again to lose myself in Mother Nature
    Wishing you a great weekend full of love and happiness
    Aussie Ian aka Emu
    aussieian2011 recently posted..Memories Trapped in TimeMy Profile

    • Red

       /  May 24, 2012

      I would love to hear more about the Aussie program. I would gladly add some into future posts. Glad to see you this evening!

  2. Great post. Never knew about free trees. No more room on our small plot to plant but good info anyway.
    Bearman recently posted..ToonMZ Josie and the Pussycat DollsMy Profile

    • Red

       /  May 24, 2012

      This one is a good spread the word post. I know quite a few people who either rent or have totally run out of yard…

  3. Red, we plant trees every year, including ‘rescue trees’ from under electric lines, along roadways, and other unfortunate trees that would otherwise not have a chance. We also graft and propagate apple trees.
    The value of trees for food didn’t appear to be addressed here–a very, very important reason to plant a tree. If everyone had fruit trees, the world would be a LOT healthier too. We have a number of different apple trees, pears, cherries and now a mulberry. In warmer climates people can grow any trees for nuts; walnuts, butternuts, hazelnuts, etc, and all of the citrus fruits ON trees. I hope we can encourage more people to not only plant a tree, but plant one that will feed a family some wonderful fresh and healthy food!
    Raymond Alexander Kukkee recently posted..Update: The Intruder….Guess what?My Profile

    • Red

       /  May 24, 2012

      Yes, I only left the tangential reference (lemonade) to fruit trees. They are going to feature a spot in an upcoming MAD post…I think I have it scheduled for the end of June. Next time you swing through here, comment with the link to your Grumpy post.

  4. If I had any place to plant trees, I’d have a forest!

    The tree goats are acceptable, but I draw the line at the tree elephants. They’re just so ungainly and destructive.
    Binky recently posted..Diet MonitorMy Profile

    • Red

       /  May 24, 2012

      LOL! You have to get the DWARF elephants for the trees. 😉

  5. An Arbor Day Foundation membership will get you 10 trees. Tracy has gotten and planted quite a few over the years. We don’t have any room left now.

  6. I hate trees today! I have a body full of welts and I want to scratch till I bleed….

    But on another note, I am taking a another trip to my nursery this weekend as I have had such success with my darling little Peach tree I think I would like another + something that will bloom and smell nice. Don’t know what that will be yet.

    We have a program in Dallas for ‘beautification’ that includes tree planting but it was mishandled a few years back. I don’t know what they have done since. Perhaps, after this post I will do a bit of checking around.
    Valentine Logar recently posted..Spare a Job, Brother?My Profile

    • Red

       /  May 24, 2012

      I think there are one or two around you which are privatized. I would love to know if the public one is still breathing. So, can I mark you down for two trees??

  7. We have problems with our trees.

    We had a plum tree that grew next to my home for 20 years which produced small but delicious fruit which we rarely got to eat because of the darned squirrels, but a winter storm toppled it and it was disposed of, but not replaced by the Council.

    We have two cherry trees, but the one nearest the building was heavily pruned so it looks a bit bare.

    Needless to say the squirrels turn up every year to eat the fruit and you can tell because the ground under the trees are carpeted with seeds! 🙂

    Love and hugs!

    prenin recently posted..Wednesday – things warm up!My Profile

    • Red

       /  May 24, 2012

      Rats. (As in…squirrels are rats.) Where’s the exterminator? {HUGZ} Red.

      • Unfortunately, since the decline of the red squirrel due to squirrel pox carried by the grays, they have been encouraging squirrels to breed at the Heaton Park woodlands and they have been spreading outwards into suburbia and it is an offence to kill them!

        If they get into your loft they then chew on wiring causing damage and fires!!!

        I have seen one gray squirrel grow up around here, raiding garbage and bird tables for food, then gorging itself silly on cherries.

        You can always tell when a cat is around though as the squirrel screams like crazy!!!

        Love and hugs!


        • Red

           /  May 25, 2012

          PFT. They are rats. Here, and especially where I am originally from (Louisiana), they are treated like the vermin they are. They are a truly destructive force. I had a hand in helping their population when I was a child. After transplanting THREE, we had a population explosion. They were in everything in a matter of a few years. Ugh.

  8. I just planted a peach tree yesterday, does that count?
    Friggin Loon recently posted..I’m Just Saying!My Profile

  9. What an excellent posting, Red! You’re right, everyone should plant at least one tree, even if only a small one…what a difference it would make on our environment. My landlord here on the island said I could plant a Crape Myrtle if I wanted to, and am considering it for their beauty, but they are slow growing, and of course it is only a rented camper slot.
    Back home I have hundreds of trees and the air is quite fresh.
    Thanks for posting such an honorable posting.
    Lots of love and hugs to you!
    ~Deb xx
    Deb recently posted..Captain Fraz and the PiratesMy Profile

    • Red

       /  May 25, 2012

      Deb, the only reason it is slow going is because we live on a sand dune. Back home, I had a 5-year-old Natchez White which was even bigger than the one I used in the picture. It was over 20 feet tall in just that little time. (and yes, I am giving it two years in the pot before I bought it at six feet.) Give it a good food source in the soil you put in the bottom of the hole.

      In the fall, just before freeze time, give it a healthy dose of root stimulator. Apparently, I am going to write the how to plant a tree post! Glad you are home! <3 Red xxx

  10. Living in a “green” state, recycle, care, and stewardship of the earth is culturally expected…which is kind of cool. Yet, I was at a dinner party where one woman ranted long and loud about being required to compost now. (the city won’t allow scraps in garbage anymore). So I guess it’s a process where we’re willing to give up a little (time, effort) for a long term result. I’m so glad you’re shining a light on it. You always have such thoughtful topics.
    Barb recently posted..Memorial Day Cooking Made EasyMy Profile

    • Red

       /  May 25, 2012

      I cannot imagine not being conscious of the garbage we create. Composting was something I did even when I was an apartment dweller (decades ago). How very sad more are not willing take a few moments for the welfare of their grandchildren and others. I think we should serve them a large diet of banana slugs.


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