Saturday, April 13, 2013

Counting Down to Earth Day 2013: 4.13.13

This is the fourth day of my Counting Down to Earth Day 2013 challenge. Yes, I realize that it's late in the day, but it’s still April 13!

As I continue with the theme of growing things, my fourth tip is a little more specific.

Today’s Tip: PLANT A TREE

Trees are valuable for many reasons.

The Arbor Foundation, founded in 1972, the centennial of the first observance of Arbor Day, is a nonprofit dedicated to the planting of trees. The Foundation has compiled statistics from all kinds of sources about why trees are good for the planet, wildlife, and real estate values!

Here are just a few:
  • “The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.” —U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • “Healthy, mature trees add an average of 10 percent to a property’s value.” —USDA Forest Service
  • “The planting of trees means improved water quality, resulting in less runoff and erosion. This allows more recharging of the ground water supply. Wooded areas help prevent the transport of sediment and chemicals into streams.” —USDA Forest Service
  • “In laboratory research, visual exposure to settings with trees has produced significant recovery from stress within five minutes, as indicated by changes in blood pressure and muscle tension.” —Dr. Roger S. Ulrich Texas A&M University
  • “There are about 60– to 200-million spaces along our city streets where trees could be planted. This translates to the potential to absorb 33 million more tons of CO2 every year, and saving $4 billion in energy costs.” —National Wildlife Federation

New Haven, Connecticut, where I live, appreciates the importance of trees. The City has undertaken an ambitious program — TreeHaven | 10 K — with the goal of planting 10,000 trees in 5 years. The trees are being planted by Urban Resources Institute (URI), the group I am supporting in next Saturday’s Rock to Rock Ride

If you  live in New Haven, you can request a tree, to be planted by URI, at no cost to you. But first you must sign a pledge that you will care for your new tree. Newly planted trees require 25 gallons of water per week during the growing seasons (from bud-break to leaf-drop) for the first three years.

If you decide to plant a tree, please think carefully before you buy one. Think of your site. How much sun do you have? What is your zone? What is your soil like? How much space do you have? Talk to an arborist or a reputable nursery before making your final decision.

To start you off, here is a slideshow of trees you should NEVER plant

Come back tomorrow for a new tip as we count down to Earth Day on April 22.

Love Your Mother (Earth). Pass it on. Together we can make a difference. Yes, we can!

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