Down the Lane: Oh, those wonderful trees

Published 10:01 am Thursday, May 23, 2019

When I was a child, my daddy used to teach me about trees. I wish now, I had paid more attention to him.

He was good at knowing the different types of trees and the leaves that came from them.

If we were walking in the woods behind our house, he would try to bring attention to us kids to notice the different types of trees.

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I still get a beech tree mixed up, but somewhere in my head I can hear him saying, “That tree is a beech.” I must have been looking off every time because I still do not know how to identify a beech tree.

I have to say I did learn a few trees from his teaching but not as many as I wish I had.

Warren Buffett once said, “Someone is enjoying shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

His words reminded me so much of the old house I grew up in. In front of it stood a huge maple tree that gave us relief from the hot summer sun.

Living in a home without air conditioning that tree was so vital to our comfort from the broiling sun in the summertime. I loved that old tree and so did all my siblings.

When I think of that house I can not imagine it without that old maple tree in front.

I remember on hot nights my sister and I raising the windows in our bedroom to get a little bit of respite from our hot room.

I must admit, though, on stormy nights, I worried as a little child, what if that tree blew over on our house?

It was that tree that we stood and counted and hid our head on for hide and seek. It was where we ran to base to be safe.

It was where we caught tree frogs and heard them of a night.

When company came, my parents would take them to the front porch in the summer where it was cooler because of that old maple tree.

However, not until my daughter Shanda made environmental studies her major in college did I learn how important trees were to our environment.

I remember Mr. Dykes teaching us in biology class about photosynthesis and how plants and trees through take in carbon dioxide and produce the air we breathe.

It was through my daughter and her love of trees I learned how important they are.

They are so important to her she will not even use paper towels in her home because of using up too many trees.

I have learned to realize trees mean our livelihood in more ways than one.

Trees provide oxygen and improve our air quality. They help to purify the air.

Trees also preserve the soil and help to conserve water.

Our wildlife depend on trees.

It is sad to think how we have not tried to protect our forests more. No wonder we are seeing bears and wildlife in our urban areas now.

I realize trees can be aggravating when it comes time to rake the leaves. Also for some, like myself, the allergic reactions that happen when they are in bloom, however their good outweighs the problems we may have from them.

Look at all the pollution problems that exist because of lack of trees in areas and larger cities.

Imagine how compromised our breathing might be if we did not have the trees in our area.

I remember also as a child, how we would go fishing and sit on a tree along the creek bank.

I think of all the times my mother who loved to go fishing enjoyed her favorite fishing hole because of a big tree that jutted out over the creek bed.

I love waking up to hear birds singing and talking to one another. It is so enjoyable to me to hear them sounding so happy with one another as they fly from tree to tree. I envision them telling all about what they have seen in their travels, gossiping and how happy they are the weather is good.

I happened to run across this Chinese proverb that says, “Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come.”

Maybe we need to plant a green tree so lots of singing birds will come.

After all, trees are important to our future.

Sue Staton is a Clark County native who grew up in the Kiddville area. She is a wife, mother and grandmother who is active in her church, First United Methodist Church, and her homemakers group, Towne and Country Homemakers.