rows of mature olive trees at the Urban Tree Farm (photo: Ene Osteraas-Constable)
I’ve asked Ene to write an occasional post for Deep Craft, and am proud to share her first story (all text and images by Ene Osteraas-Constable):
I greet the deluge of the season’s first heavy rains with relief and contentment, knowing that all the bare root trees I planted are securely in the ground, benefiting from the deluge. Cherry, peach, plum, pluot, fig; the trees all look the same when bought in this juvenile, leafless state; bare branches with a flurry of fine roots beneath. This is, however, the ideal time for planting, while the small trees are dormant.
There is a sense of excitement and exuberance in the nurseries during January’s grey, wet days. Gardeners converge for this eagerly anticipated event: the bare root trees are in! As we mill about the saplings, I smile happily at the elderly couple that proudly share their bare root plum tree: “Isn’t it beautiful? We may not make it long enough to harvest the fruit,” they say, “but isn’t it a beauty?”. Planting a tree is truly a gesture of hope; an investment in the future that I can understand better than any stock or bond.
bare root trees, shipped while dormant, ready for planting
I leave the nursery thinking there should be a holiday, a national day of planting trees. Then I remember Arbor Day. Julius Sterling Morton had the prescience to establish this holiday in 1872. While each state has their own date for Arbor Day, I advocate a National Holiday, allowing everyone a single day off from work to plant or tend to trees in their community.
“I can’t live without the green trees, and nor can you. I’m humbled by the understanding that they could get along without me though! They sustain us, not the other way round.” -Wangari Maathai
Click here to read more about the revolutionary impact of planting trees in Africa.