Trees – Our way to saving the earth!

Arbor Day Foundation

Trees are great to plant all year round. Some prefer when they are dormant, in early spring/late fall. That is how organizations such as The Arbor Day Foundation ships them to your door.  The Arbor Day Foundation is an awesome organization. You can join a 6 month membership for $10 and they will ship you 10 Free Trees. They have different packages from shade tree varieties to flowering trees. Once you are a member you can order other trees and shrubs. The down side is they only ship twice per year and the trees are usally 6″ -36″ tall, which means you have a few years until you can enjoy the full benefits.

That being said, trees usually cost a lot. I have seen them for $50 – $300 cheaper on the Arbor Day Foundation website.

Why Trees?

Don’t take me for a total nerd when I say trees Rock! They really do and I’ll tell you why. Growing up in Boise, The City of Trees has taught me a great respect for trees. It gets very hot in the summer and spending time beneath the shade of a big maple or oak makes it 20 degrees cooler. This works for utility bills as well. There is a large maple outside my house and each year it gets bigger. The shade covers more and more of the house during the hottest time of the day. Each year the utility bills get cheaper.  Also the shade covers more of the lawn which now requires less water. Each year I trim the trees around my house and this provides me with firewood for my chiminea or woodstove if the powerline people come. (They cut down part of a tree last year that was interfering with the lines and it provided me fire wood for several months)

For The Environment

Trees are great for the environment, they make lots of fresh oxegyn for us to breath and they filter out chemicals in the air and ground. They help stabilize soils and make entire cities cooler (a growing problem, read this artilce from Discovery News) by reflecting heat. Cities absorb more sun light due to cement and buildings which in turn causes micro-climates to develop. Trees help counteract this by providing micro-climates of their own.

Boise – The City of Trees

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(Picture from http://greatworld-cheryl.blogspot.com/)

Boise is in the high desert and sits about 2400 ft above sea level.  It gets very hot in the summer! As you can see from this picture, Boise has a ton of trees which make it barable during those hotter days. In the 70’s the city had programs available that provided trees to residents to plant on thier property. As you can see from the picture it must have worked. This is a good example of how a lot of trees can make a difference over time.  Desert – Tree Covered Utopia

Easy Tree Growing

So if I have convinced you, here is an easy way to grow a tree for yourself! Make it be noted many trees are hard to grow from seed and require being frozen, burned or scared or a combination thereof. However, if you are lookg for a great all purpose tree thats easy to grow, the maple is number one! It grows fast, has lots of shade, is good for burning and building. You can even make syrup out of if it you get a little crazy.  The picture above is one of my maples that provides me great benefits.

In the spring/early summer this tree develops spinning seed pods that get dry and fall from the trees later in the season.

When they look like this I clip a hand full of them. I will take a one quart pot and fill it with dirt and place the seed in it.

Then water it ofter making sure the top layer is always moist. Within a couple weeks they will have spout and by a couple months it could grow 6″-12″. You can plant it anywhere, but remember to keep it about 15 ft from the house because within 15 years it will be 40 ft tall and you don’t want roots destroying your house foundation.

Here is one I making into a bonzai.

By triming the top of the tree it makes it grow slower, this one is almost two and should be twice the height.  (This one needs to be trimed) The trunk will grow but the height and spread will not. Since the maple is a fast grower it should provide some interesting results.

Tip: If bonzing a tree make sure to do  a little research. Generally you must trim the top sparingly and the root ball every two years to keep the dersired growth and spread the tree.

UPDATE: From Post below!

Letuce in the back about 2.5 weeks old, almost ready for a tasty salad.

Radish in front 4 days from planting seeds and 2″ tall! Amazing!

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A late summer garden!

A great way to keep the garden season going longer is by using cold hardy plants. Lettuce and radishes can be planted late winter and early fall.

Growing your own vegetables is not only fun and easy, it cuts costs and is good for the environment.

Here is an easy way to grow a late season crop on your door step with things lying around the house.

Here is an example of what an old paint/wallpaper tub can be used for.

Patio Garden

Lettuce in back only two weeks old. Grows fast in the warmth but will grow into the  frost.

The tub is filled with recycled dirt from old house plants. I like to save this from previous planting experiments!

And topped off with my favorite planting medium.

Miracle Grow Mositure Control is a good all around general purpose soil.

TIP: Save your old dirt! I use an old bucket and save all my dirt from plants past. I use this to fill my new planters 1/2  to 3/4 full and then top it off with the Mostiure Control. Soil is expensive so I like to conserve.

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Growing Change Inc

We are a newly formed non profit organization and are having a benefit concert soon to raise start up funds for our organization.

We are also in the process of planning future events and getting collaborators. We have a lot going on and great volunteers to make it all possible!

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