In celebration of President’s day….Let’s grow some green! We all know the age old myth of our first President, George Washington, chopping down his father’s favorite cherry tree with a hatchet. This was, of course, before we knew the benefits that trees provide to us: trees clean the air, provide oxygen, help conserve energy, help prevent water pollution, they cool the streets and city, increase property values, and even provide food, to name just a few. In fact, February is the perfect month for planting fruit trees. The number one priority for any new tree is establishing a healthy root system. With cooler weather, there is less watering required, allowing the tree to become stable! In addition, cooler weather means less weeds. Before you start planting your backyard orchard however, we’d like you to keep a few tips in mind:
- Plant native plants and trees
- Test your soil before using fertilizer
- Seed bare spots to reduce erosion
- Keep grass and yard waste out of streets and storm drains
- Compost leaves and grass clippings
Nearly one-quarter of America’s tree canopy exists in our backyards, city streets and parks, making them essential to healthy communities. Take advantage of the upcoming planting season by doing something that is good for your home, good for your waterways, and ultimately good for your wallet! Whether it be a cherry tree like Mr. Washington, or an apple tree from your local garden store, trees are vital to maintaining a sustainable ecosystem!
Blog contributed by Alacia Nixson, Municipal Intern with City of Norfolk.