My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Friday, April 30, 2010

A Tree Party - Part "Tree" ;-)

"Trees are the lungs of the Earth"

Happy Arbor Day!

Cherry Tree, Germany
~photographer unknown~

Arbor Day, founded in 1872 by J. Sterling Morton, is celebrated in the United States on the last Friday in April. As part of my own Arbor Day celebration, I've gathered a few links that I hope will inspire, inform, entertain, and help you help trees!

Arbor Day Foundation

Dedicated to planting trees, they inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees through a variety of conservation and education programs.

"Founded in 1972, we envision a world where trees and forests are abundant, healthy, and sustainable, and highly valued by all people. Through mass-media communications, by providing low-cost trees for planting, and by producing high-quality, easy-to-use educational materials, we work to make tree planting and care something in which nearly everyone can be involved. It is our constant goal to expand a person's desire to plant a tree into a lifelong enthusiasm for tree planting and care, and for positive involvement in conservation issues relating to trees."

Check out more about their programs, and visit their web site to learn more about Arbor Day and ways to celebrate it, including purchasing trees online and sending beautiful free e-cards (or "Treecards?")

The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation (FTPF) is an international nonprofit dedicated to planting fruitful trees and plants to alleviate world hunger, combat global warming, strengthen communities, and improve the surrounding air, soil, and water. They donate fruit orchards at places such as public schools, city parks, low-income neighborhoods, Native American reservations, international hunger relief sites, and animal sanctuaries.

"Our primary mission is to plant and help others plant a collective total of 18 billion fruit trees across the world (approximately 3 for every person alive) and encourage their growth under organic standards. FTPF provides support, resources, and guidance for those interested in planting fruit trees and spearheads a variety of planting programs. These programs are aimed at enriching the environment, providing nutritious food sources for wild and rescued animals, and improving human health by bringing delicious, fresh, locally grown raw fruits and vegetables of the highest quality into the lives of all people.

FTPF also seeks to secure land throughout the world with the sole purpose of restoring native plant ecosystems with an abundance of fruit trees and plants that benefit the surrounding air, water, and soil and provide food sources for wild animals."

What's not to love? :-)

Unless someone like you cares a whole lot,
nothing is going to get better, it's not.
~Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Catalog Choice is a free service that allows you to decide which catalogs you want (and don't want) to receive, reducing mailbox clutter and trash while helping conserve natural resources. According to the Environmental Defense Paper Calculator, approximately 20 billion catalogs are mailed every year in the US alone (the vast majority unwanted and immediately thrown away), most made from virgin fiber - a waste of millions of trees and other resources. (You can read more about the resources used for catalogs and other junk mail and how to reduce it here and in this post).

"The mission of Catalog Choice is to reduce the number of repeat and unwanted catalog mailings, and to promote the adoption of sustainable industry best practices."

Your free daily click helps preserve rainforest habitat.

"The Rainforest Site is dedicated to the preservation of rainforests around the world. Your daily click funds the purchase of rainforest land by The Nature Conservancy, The Rainforest Conservation Fund, World Land Trust-US, and Rainforest2Reef. These organizations work to preserve rainforest land in Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Paraguay and other locations worldwide."

Your free daily click helps save Sweden's old growth forests.

Most of the site is in Swedish, which I can't read, but my understanding is that they protect the forests by raising money through their partners and sponsors with each click and use it to purchase old growth forest land.

A fun trivia game that plants trees! Just register, play the game, learn as you go, and with enough correct answers you help plant trees and save the earth, you superhero, you! (A correct answer = 1 leaf, 12 leaves = 1 branch, 15 branches = 1 tree). Good luck, have fun, and don't be surprised if you become addicted! ;-)

(You can play without registering, but if you register (it's fast and free), your accumulated leaves, branches and trees, along with your other game stats, will be saved and carried over to your next game.)

We must protect the forests for our children,
grandchildren and children yet to be born.
We must protect the forests for those
who can't speak for themselves
such as the birds, animals, fish and trees.
~Chief Edward Moody, Qwatsinas, Nuxalk Nation

Ever consider a treehouse vacation?

Hainan Island, South China Sea

There are treehouse lodgings all over the world.
Treehouse Bed and Breakfasts lists just a few of them.

Maybe after staying in a treehouse, you'll want to live in one, full or part-time. Like environmentalist Peter Bahouth, who built three treehouses in Atlanta (out of mostly salvaged materials) that he named, "Mind," "Body," and "Spirit." Spirit is also his name for the 137-year old Southern shortleaf pine that inspired and anchors the treehouse retreat. See video interviews with him in (and about) his treehouses here:

There are many books and websites about building and living in treehouses, whether you want to build a small one yourself for fun over a weekend or hire a team of professional arborist/architect/treehouse builders to create a much more elaborate one for you! Here are two of my favorite professional treehouse builder website galleries:

The woods were made for the hunters of dreams,
The brooks for the fishers of song;
To the hunters who hunt for the gunless game
The streams and the woods belong.
~Sam Walter Foss

I'd love to curl up in a treehouse, or under the base of a big shade tree, and pore over this book, which has been languishing on my wish list since 2005...

As well as this one, a recent discovery...

Enjoy a treerific Arbor Day and weekend! Go plant a tree, hug a tree, thank a tree, learn about a tree, celebrate a tree! They benefit us in so many ways, it's the least we can do!

A Blessing for the Woods
Before I leave, almost without noticing,
before I cross the road and head toward
what I have intentionally postponed—
Let me stop to say a blessing for these woods:
for crows barking and squirrels scampering,
for trees and fungus and multi-colored leaves,

for the way sunlight laces with shadows
through each branch and leaf of tree,
for these paths that take me in,
for these paths that lead me out.

Michael S. Glaser~
(Poem used with the author's gracious permission)


  1. Happy Arbor Day! What a beautiful series of posts on trees.

    I love the tree house. That would be a wonderful place to relax and read a book.

    Your love of trees is really quite touching. Thanks for sharing with us.

    talk to you soon,

  2. Happy Arbor Day to you too, Ali!

    I'm so glad you enjoyed my Arbor Day series! :-)

    I think the treehouses are such fun, I'd love to have one (but lack a suitable tree!) I never had a treehouse as a kid, but spent a lot of time up in the branches of various apple trees and sugar maples, mostly. (We moved around a lot while I was growing up, so I got to enjoy a large variety of trees, though our relationships were always temporary!)

    Did you notice that the final poem was written by the former Poet Laureate of Maryland (2004-2009)? I thought you'd appreciate that! :-)

  3. La,

    I never had a tree house either. I guess that is why I am fascinated with them. You would love where we live there are big old oak trees all around the neighborhood.

    We need to run to the pharmacy soon. But I will see if I can get some pics of the neighborhood trees for you today.

    talk to you soon,

  4. Oh, I'm sure I would love your neighborhood! It sounds magnificent! When you shared your blizzard photos I was admiring your trees then! I'd love to see them at this time of year! (And BW loved, loved, loved your azalea post from yesterday!)

    I think we each need a treehouse retreat, don't you? :-)

  5. I forgot about the blizzard pics. You are right there were quite a few trees in those pics.

    Please tell BW I am happy he liked my azalea pics.

    We definitely need a treehouse retreat! ;-)


  6. Hi, Ali!
    Your message has been delivered to BW! :-) Tell Dan that as soon as he's patched up and caught up, building you a treehouse retreat is #1 on his agenda! ;-)

  7. What a great selection of tree information. I loved the tree house segment, but my favorite was the first photo of the cherry tree. That's one of the most beautiful photos I've ever seen.

  8. Hi, Andrea, thanks for visiting my blog! I always enjoy reading yours. I'm glad you enjoyed your stroll through my "blog forest," and that you had fun in the treehouses. :-) I agree that the cherry tree photo is really beautiful - it's calming, too, isn't it? Just looking at it drops my blood pressure several points, I think! :-)

  9. Those are wonderful organizations and thanks for sharing them with us. I am reminded of how much I truly love trees, so you've done your Arbor Day duty for sure!

    Sorry I'm commenting late...I missed this post somehow the update didn't propagate to my blog list.

    I remember The was one of my very favority Dr Seuss creations.

    Thanks again Laloofah and Happy Arbor Day.

  10. Rose - thank you for your sweet comment, and for visiting this post. Better late than never (but darn Blogger and their badly-timed glitches!)

    For some reason I thought of you when I posted the treehouse info, and could easily picture you with a treehouse retreat of your very own someday. :-)

    I loved the Lorax too, but didn't read it till I was well into adulthood! I'm a late bloomer. LOL


  11. We used to have a neighborhood treehouse when I was growing up; namely, a large board nailed in a tree to create a platform. It had been there for years, and the original owners had since moved, but that didn't stop us; as far as we were concerned it was our territory.

    I also went to summer camp one year and the bunk house was built as a tree house. I think it would be lovely to spend lots of time up in the long as the trees didn't mind.

  12. Rose ~ the tree platform sounds like a great place to have spent childhood summer afternoons. The closest I came was a two-story fort in the backyard of the house I lived in from age 4-8. A previous resident had built it under the branches of a huge Weeping Willow tree, so when you sat on the deck of the 2nd story, you almost felt like you were up in the tree branches. It was a favorite spot of mine, as well as of the other kids in the neighborhood.

    Your summer camp bunkhouse built as a treehouse sounds brilliant! I'll bet that was a lot of fun! I'd like to think the trees enjoy our company as they do the company of birds, squirrels, and monkeys. :-) As long, as you say, as our presence doesn't hurt the trees. That's what I liked about all those treehouse builders I linked to... some of them are even certified arborists, and all of them make sure the treehouse construction doesn't harm the tree. (Which is not only kind, of course, but sensible!)

    By the way, have you heard of Treehouse Point in Issaquah? It's owned by a professional treehouse builder and they do tours, give workshops, provide lodging and host events there. Some of the treehouses look like very fun places to spend a night (assuming they'd be happy to serve vegan food, which they should since they pride themselves on environmentalism and sustainability), but just taking a tour of the place would be great fun!

    Thanks again for sharing your fun tree memories and stories in my Arbor Day posts, Rose!

  13. Now that you mention it, I think I heard an interview with him on the radio sometime ago. Thanks for calling my attention to it; it sounds like it could be a fun day trip destination too!

  14. Yes it does! I hope you'll get to go there, and blog about it one of these days! (I have to live vicariously through others sometimes, snowed-in as I am, you know. LOL)

  15. Laloofah -- great post on trees. The photo of the tree house is beautiful. When I lived in Oregon there was actually a man that lived in a tree house -- an alternative kind of guy. I think it would be fun for some folks. Thanks for the link to this post -- barbara

  16. Barbara ~ I'm glad you enjoyed it, and am not surprised to hear that you knew of a man in Oregon who lived in a treehouse. It seems there are quite a few treehouse designers, builders and dwellers in the Pacific Northwest. I think it would be great fun to live in one! I'd sure enjoy the chance to stay in one someday, at least...


Will Blog For Comments. :-)

Thanks for taking the time to leave yours!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...



  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

free counters