The first line of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree has always stuck in my mind. “Once there was a tree…and she loved a little boy.” Whether the complete book is a simple story or a more complex message about mothers giving too much, I can’t be sure. But what I love about the beginning of the tale is the unabashed, imaginative play that occurs between boy and tree.
I had a favorite tree in my grandmother’s backyard. It had a strong branch low to the ground that was an ideal launch to higher branches. I use to pretend to be a gymnast swinging on the tree, and in the winter, a small ice rink would form around the base. The low branch was the perfect resting spot between figure skating moves. I am always wishing my children had a closer relationship with nature. Where, oh where, is their special tree?
So in honor of Arbor Day, fast approaching on April 29, I have gathered some tips to help us all get planting:
- Check out these videos on tree planting tips from the Arbor Day Foundation website. And click here for a basic 101 on tree planting.
- Martha Stewart's useful How to Plant a Tree article includes advice on choosing a tree and easy-to-follow planting directions.
- Get your friends and neighbors involved and organize a tree-planting event in your community.
- If you are in the New York area, MillionTrees NYC give away free trees to be planted on private property. Click here for more info. And download a useful handbook about how to care for the tree after you plant it.
Happy Arbor Day!
Francesca Olivieri is co-founder of sage baby, an online eco-friendly baby store offering everything from organic clothes and skin care to furniture. She also runs a green consulting business; blogs for The Family Groove and Scenic Hudson; and contributes to Daily Candy Kids, YogaCity, Citiscoop, and NRDC’s Simple Steps. Please visit her website at FrancescaOlivieri.com.