Ene’s Arbor Day

olive treesrows 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

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.


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