Examine the picture below. It probably doesn't look like much to you. Just some soccer parents proudly watching their kids play.
What made me smile was how the people moved- instinctively?- under the tree for cover when the skies opened up with rain briefly. That's what we call ecosystem services for which the trees don't charge us anything. They just do it.
Can you name other ecosystem services provided by our trees free of charge? The list is long. Most would go with oxygen, shade, wind force mitigation, beauty, etc. Now you can add rain shelter. But you knew that already.
So why is this worth a blog post? Because during my work in landscape maintenance I encounter many people who openly hate trees. In the fall, trees drop too many leaves or they are allegedly ready to bulldoze houses with their roots. So let's remove them.
"I hate that tree"
That's a direct quote from one strata resident. It was a sunny fall day and there were many big leaf maple (Acer macrophylla) leaves on the ground. I couldn't even think of hate. We collected what we could; remember, you're never responsible for hundred percent of the leaf drop. Anything that drops after your service will be fresh and good to go the following week.
There is so much to learn about trees. Trees and hate in one sentence sounds oxymoronic. Love them and care for them. And if it rains, enjoy their protection.
Since my garlic order arrived on Friday, I got my son out on our humble patio for some garlic planting and clean-ups. You can read about my first-ever garlic planting adventure on my landscape blog; West Coast Landscape Professional.
We had other work to do. Hostas and Rudbeckias required cut-back. We also had winter annuals to plant: pansies and ornamental kale. Sadly, this will probably be the only colour on our patio. That and one Primula that somehow survived the lack of water and acted like a resurrection plant.
This was a great opportunity to get my son trained on snipping with Felco 2s. He did well cleaning up ugly leaves off the kale we were about to plant in our pots. He would later donate a few kale plants to his soccer coach.
One last task was adding left-over soil to the rest of our pots. I can now confidently report that our patio is ready for winter. We'll see what happens to our garlic harvest next summer.
Vas Sladek, B.Sc., CLT
Red Seal Journeyman Landscape Horticulturist and ISA certified arborist