11 Mommy, what did trees look like?

Yesterday I was walking around our backyard looking for the little tree's I planted after B's birthday party. I planted 6 or 7 and today I couldn't find any of them. I don't know if I didn't look hard enough or if they just did not survive the massive amount of snow we got this winter. Either way it got me thinking. There is the very real possibility that our grandchildren will never know what a forest is. There won't be trees big enough to climb or put a tire swing in. There will be nothing to take shelter under when it really starts to rain, no school field trips to watch sap being turned into maple syrup. All the things that we loved doing as kids the future generations may not experience even one time.

A good part of my life has been spent in forests. I camped under the canopy of hundreds of trees and hiked with my family where my siblings and I collected leaves that we later pressed in wax paper. Joe and I have ziplined and cave tubed our way through rain forests in Central America. And I have spent countless hours in local forests studying them with my classmates. Through all of this I have learned that trees really are the definition of sustainable. They give us the air we breathe, they filter pollution and even in death they are giving life sustaining nutrients to other vegetation in the forest.
There are several things I hope B never says to me. One of them being 'Mommy, what did trees look like?' June 5th is World Environment Day (WED) and with the focus on forests I ask that you help me to prevent our children and grandchildren from growing up in a world that is so very different than ours. We are losing 36 million acres of natural forests every year and together we can stop this from happening. I ask that you plant or protect a tree, go for a hike or teach your children about the importance of trees. The more people who grow up respecting them and the importance they play in our lives the better chance we have of this not becoming their reality. We plan on also taking a look at our total carbon output in a year and planting enough trees to offset that.

But let's go beyond what we can do on one day. There are things you can do every day that will help to protect our forests.

* When you are buying wood products look for those coming from sustainable sources that are certified by the FSC. Or consider buying used! There are thousands of products on websites like Craigslist, Freecycle and Kijiji.

* If you are building a new home research the land and if forests were cleared to make room for the houses. If they were then chose another builder.  

* Think before you print! I have not printed anything since February 18th and will hopefully be able to beat my last record of 500+ days. See if you can go without using paper by taking notes on your laptop or your smartphone.

* If you are looking to plant a tree on your property try looking for someone who is getting rid of a tree. That is how we got our apple tree and it saved it from becoming fire wood.

For more information on World Environment Day visit UNEP and Treehugger.

What have you done to protect our forests? Leave a comment and let me know!


  1. Great post! We drove up into Rocky Mountain National Park yesterday, and I found myself wondering if the pines will be there when my daughter is old enough to appreciate them. Many along the road were dead or dying from the insidious pine beetle.

  2. Is there anything they can do about the pine beetle?

  3. As far as I know, no. Not for a large scale, practical application. Global climate change is also helping the beetles thrive by providing warmer winters. Cold winters would kill them off, warm winters allow them to live and thrive. It's disheartening.

  4. And the problem would be compouned by the fact the the beetles are killing the very tree's that can help to 'scrub' the greenhouse gases out of the air.

  5. Now I want to plant a tree! We don't have ANY trees in our yard :-(

  6. I have been obsessed with trees ever since moving to my new home last year. We have a huge tree that's slowly dying in our yard. With all the major winds we've had this year, we're probably going to have to cut it down. I feel so terrible about it. But we also have a list of a few new trees we'd like to add to our yard, and I plan on getting a couple of seedlings from my parents, or even look into trading some of our baby trees (we have about 20 5-6' trees all over the place) for other trees to add some variety around our home.

    Great post. Trees are definitely something that many people take for granted, especially as adults.

  7. @Jessica - no trees at all? Do you have room for some?

  8. Sam - have you given any thought to what you will do with the wood when you have to remove the tree? Could you make it into a cool coffee table or end table or something?

  9. What a cute blog... love the blog header picture.

    I am a new follower from the hop. Would love to have you stop by.

  10. New follower here from the hop. Love your blog! I live in the country and can't even imagine not having trees around, and like you, I don't want my children to NOT know what one is either! Scary thought. Looking forward to hearing more from you. My husband and I started trying to "Go Green" a couple of years ago, but we're still learning.

    Hope you'll stop by our blog soon. You can find me at http://wayneandjessi.blogspot.com

  11. @Jessica - you are so lucky to live in the country!