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. Yay for trees! Our neighborhood in Albuquerque has one of the best urban canopies in the SW (so we’re told by the City arborist…) and we have a program to give free trees to neighbors. They just have to sign a contract that they will keep it alive (*and love it* is what I wanted to also include!). This is a really informative post, something I’ve been passionate about for a long time.
    BTW Red, thanks for the suggestion of stopping by on my way home from SC for coffee, would have loved that 🙂 I’m home, decompressing…

    • Red

       /  May 25, 2012

      Glad to see you today, Laura. And glad your trip went well. The gift of trees is always a wonderful one.

  2. Trees rock! So does saving the world… One “green” step at a time!

    • Red

       /  May 26, 2012

      There are other of these green nuggets around here! Click the MAD button under the header or the Green page from The Map!

  3. Such a wonderful post. I know where lies your heart.
    We have a foresty department here too. A lot of years ago, I was associated with an organization which sat on the waterfront. It was obvious trees were needed for shade. The surrounding ‘park’ area was bare of trees and required landscaping. I got on the phone and found out about the forestry department. We got free trees. It was awesome.

    Yes, this one we all learned at school and then promptly forgot. Good reminder. Thanks, teach.
    Tess Kann recently posted..Mucking AroundMy Profile

    • Red

       /  May 26, 2012

      Glad you stopped by this one, Tess. I knew Canada had a forestry department. So glad you helped with the project. Those kind are very rewarding. 😉


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