Do your part: Plant a tree for Earth Day this weekend

Published on Wed, Apr 17, 2013 by Brandy Kiger Shreve

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Earth Day is just around the corner on April 22, and it’s the perfect time to begin thinking about how you can do your part to better the environment. There are lots of ways you can help keep the world green and whether it’s biking more, driving less, composting or using less electricity during the week, every little bit helps.

One way to celebrate the Earth is to honor old traditions and plant a tree. Trees are a vital part of our ecosystem, and are not 
only beautiful, but also store carbon dioxide and produce oxygen.

Don’t just go out and start planting willy-nilly. “The biggest thing to consider is the amount of space you have,” said Zacc Fairbairn, Bakerview Nursery & Garden Center employee. “If you live in the city, you’re going to plant differently than you would if you lived in the county and had lots of acreage.”

While city dwellers may have restrictions on the types of trees that they can plant due to limited yard space and power lines overhead, there are many hybridized trees that may suit their needs.

“Hybridized trees have been designed for people living in tight spaces. Generally they are grafted to a root stock that helps control what the tree wants to do naturally, so you don’t get overgrowth,” he said. “Something like a combo fruit tree, which allows one tree to cross pollinate, would be ideal for someone who wants to have fruit, but doesn’t have room for two trees.”

Once planted, your new tree will need some help. “A lot of people just want to plant a tree and never look back,” he said. “But some of these varieties are going to need care and attention, particularly if it’s a dry summer. It’s important to stake them for the first few years to stabilize them, and to keep an eye on them if we haven’t had a lot of rain to make sure they grow well.”

Fairbairn recommends that you do your research before you head to the nursery and know what you’re getting yourself into. 

“It’s important to know what you want,” he said. “Do you want flowers or do you want fruit? What’s your sunlight like? These are the questions we’re going to ask you when you come to buy a tree. We want to prepare you and give you the information you need to make the best decision.”