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.
Vas Sladek, B.Sc., CLHT