2011 – Year of Forests

Did you know that the United Nations has declared 2011 the “International Year of Forests”? To be honest, I didn’t. Shame on me! However, now I am aware and I am going to make it a mission to share this information with my friends and clients.

The UN’s website states that 30% of total land area is forests and is home to 80% of terrestial biodiversity. A whooping 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livlihoods! With forests being such a valuable resource you would think we would be trying more to save them!

While we may not be able to plant a forest at a home, we can still do our part and plant a tree (or two or three). Right now I can hear many of you saying, “my back yard is so small” or “I don’t have room” however, I am not talking a Sugar Maple here…you have to select the right tree for the right location. And while it may seem like this new guest in your garden is out of place, you will soon grow to love its architectural interest in winter, sound of its leaves in fall and the shade it provides in summer and wonder how you ever lived without it!

So back to picking the right tree for the right location…if you were to grab a piece of paper and draw a tree and I am willing to bet one of two shapes comes up – either your standard triangular Christmas Tree or a lolipop shaped deciduous tree. And yes, while these are pretty common, there are lots of other shapes and sizes of trees. Columnar trees for instance will grow nice and tall; pyramidal in shape making them perfect for smaller spaces (both in coniferous and deciduous varieties), there are dwarf trees that, as their name implies,¬†will stay relatively small, trees that grow wider than tall and trees that grow taller than wide. There are trees with very dense canopies and trees with very fine leaves that provide a nice filtered light.Flowering trees, trees with great fall color, you name it…you can find the right tree for your location, all you need to do is a bit of research! Or let’s plan a meeting and together we can pick the perfect trees for your yard! (and while we are at it maybe a few shrubs and perennials too!)

So, in this year of the Forest, think about what your garden is missing…perhaps a tree?

For more information on the UN’s Year of the Forests, visit – www.un.org/forests/

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