Simple Ways to Help Trees

This tree’s roots grow deep into the ground to find water

When I was selling my books at a local store recently, a man stopped at my book table. He began telling me about the many juniper and cedar trees that grow near his house. They were looking parched, hungry for water. In the area where we live in northwest New Mexico, we haven’t had any rain for many weeks.

He wanted to help the trees, but there were so many of them he could only bring water to a few. Instead of feeling overwhelmed with so much need, he chose to bring water to a few of the trees. Those trees are starting to thrive.

I think that man is heroic. He can’t meet the needs of every tree, but he can help a few of them. So that’s what he does.

That made me wonder what the rest of us can do to help trees. Maybe you live in a part of the world where there has been little rainfall, so trees need extra water. You might live in a place where there’s plenty of rain, but the trees have different needs.

It might be interesting to find out what the trees around you need. We can’t solve the problems of every tree, but we can help a few trees around us, just as that man is doing.

Take a walk around your neighborhood. Notice the trees. Do they look healthy? Most people take time to water their plants, so if all the houses in your neighborhood are occupied, the trees in those yards probably get good care.

Is there a vacant house with a tree in the front yard that isn’t getting enough water? If so, when you go for a walk, fill a watering can and take it with you. Give that tree a drink as you walk by. You may only be able to help one tree, but that one tree is healthier because you cared enough to bring it water.

You can be heroic like that man who is watering a few junipers and cedars. If you help even just one tree, you are doing more than you realize. That tree will be a better place for birds to nest in and squirrels to climb. Other wildlife will benefit too.

You may think you can’t make a difference. But even two or three minutes spent helping one or two trees will improve your neighborhood in wonderful ways.

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