Hug a Tree for National Wilderness Month!

By: Debbie Neese
September 23, 2021
Hug a Tree for National Wilderness Month!
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One plant pick = One Tree Planted.

Did you know you are replenishing the forest when you buy a plant pick from Lively Root? That's right. One tree is planted for every plant purchased. We are teaming up with the Arbor Day Foundation, and our goal is to plant 5000 trees in 2021! So it's only fitting to talk about trees! 




The Cradle of Forestry

Since we love trees, we're investing in our forests throughout the US. And in celebration of National Wilderness Month, we're taking you on a virtual walk through a forest! Did you know the first school of forestry in the US was established in the Appalachian Mountains of Western North Carolina in 1898? George Vanderbilt II hired a trained forester for his own 125,000 acres to manage and conserve on a recommendation from his landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead (who also designed NYC Central Park), The model plan his forester developed over time served as a catalyst for the Biltmore Forest School, the first forestry school with over 300 forestry graduates in the US. The Cradle of Forestry, the Biltmore Estate, and George Vanderbilt played a significant role in the birth of the U.S. Forest Service.

Consequently, an 86,000-acre tract of the Biltmore estate was donated to the US government, creating Pisgah National Forest. It was one of the first national forests east of the Mississippi River. Mr. Vanderbilt was a 'tree lover,' you could say, and a conservationist! Edith Vanderbilt, his wife, quoted that his conviction was that "every forest owner owes the next generation a forest that is unimpaired by wasteful use." 

And Lively Root couldn't agree more! 

Benefits of Trees 

Here is a little trivia for you...

  • Did you realize that trees remove pollution from the atmosphere, improving air quality and giving you fresh air to breathe! 

  • According to a South Korean study, office workers who have a tree to look at out the window report less stress and more satisfaction in their jobs. 

  • A University reports that one large tree can produce a day's oxygen supply for up to four people. An apple a day AND a tree a day keeps the doctor away. 

  • The US Forestry Service indicates that forested watershed land contributes clean drinking water to over 180 million Americans. That's a big gulp of water! 

  • Stand under a tree and see the difference in shaded surface temps! It can be 20-45°F cooler than unshaded areas. 

  • If you drive a gasoline-powered vehicle 26,000 miles, it takes one year for an acre of trees to absorb the carbon dioxide from the emissions. 

  • According to the US Forest Service, place a tree in the proper position around your house and save 30% in AC costs and 20-50% in heating costs. That's a lot of 'bang for your trunk.'

  • Wildlife love trees too. It's a place for them to forage for food, nest their young, perch themselves on a branch to rest or hide from predators. 

  • Did you know trees are crime-stoppers! In one sizable north-eastern city, a 10% tree canopy reduced crime by 12%! 

  • In 2007, for every tree planted in NYC provided $5.60 in benefits, including cleaner air, more economical energy costs, purified water quality, stormwater control, and increased property values. 

  • Increase your property value by planting a tree! In Portland, Oregon, a street tree increased the value of your home to the equivalent of adding 129 square feet to your home's value! 

With all the benefits of trees, let's plant some! Here are four suggestions for you! 

Add These Trees to your Garden Space

Fast-Growing tree:: Lacebark Elm (Ulmus parvifolia)

If you have no time to waste, try the Lacebark Elm. It has a rounded crown, and its leaves turn a yellow to reddish-burgundy color in the fall. Don't you love the texture of this bark and bonus; it adapts to many types of soil conditions. It's pretty much free of diseases and a very tough, durable tree. What is there not to love! It'll grow 40-50' tall and 45' wide. Hardiness Zones: 5-9

Flowering Tree: Redbud (Cercis canadensis)

Need a small ornamental flowering tree for early spring? This one is a favorite. If you like purple to pink, then you're going to love this one. Before the leaves burst out, the flower buds burst magically out of the stems of the tree. After blooming, the heart-shaped leaves can be a deep purple to chartreuse when they emerge. These turn a reddish-purple and orange color in the fall. It grows upward of 20-30,' and 25' wide and can handle clay, moist, rich, and well-draining soils. (I have one of these in my front yard which is why it's one of my favorites!) Hardiness Zones: 6-8

Fruit Tree: Apple (Malus)

Here in Henderson County in WNC, we lead the state in apple production and rank in the top 10 producers in the nation. Uh-huh. That means if you visit, you can enjoy the local Apple Festival every year, and yes, eat your share of apple cider donuts, fried apple pies, dipped caramel apples, fresh sliced apples with caramel, and chug the cider. 

If you want to grow a few, Golden Delicious and McIntosh apples are great to eat fresh or used for baking. They hold their shape well. Do you have a favorite aunt or cousin that brings their apple dumplings to family reunions? If so, these would be perfect for that! It's crunchy, succulent, and sweet. Perfect for a pie or cider too. 

In the spring, you'll get a prolific view of pinkish-white blooms with a delicious fragrance. They top out at 15-20' tall and wide. Hardiness Zones: 4-9

Evergreen Tree: Nellie Stevens Holly (Ilex 'Nellie R Stevens')

Do you need an evergreen hedge for privacy to keep good neighbors or help create green boundaries in the landscape? Try the Nellie Stevens Holly. It is an excellent evergreen for the winter garden since its bright red berries produce in the fall and throughout the winter. They're disease-resistant, have a conical shape, and birds and wildlife forage on the fruit. And bonus, you can even use the stems laden with red berries in your holiday decorations! They grow approximately 15-25' tall and 5-10' wide. Hardiness Zones: 6-9

Tropical Tree: Banana Tree (Musa)

If you're living in a hotter, warmer climate in the country, try Lively Root's Dwarf Cavendish or our Red banana trees that are self-pollinating. If your hair frizzes when you go outside, this one's for you. It loves humidity. This one grows up to 6 feet tall and will produce fruit once per tree. Don't expect to eat off it regularly, but you will have those tropical vibes, and the leaves will fan you as they sway in the wind! If you reside in a colder climate, you can use it as a patio planting and overwinter in a greenhouse. 

Hardiness Zones: 9-11



So, which tree are you thinking of getting and planting in your garden space? Or please tell us what's your favorite tree and why on social media and tag us @livelyroot. Now, hug a tree today and thank it for all it does for us and our environment!