Plant a Tree, Win a Prize. (Maybe)

by Seasonal Wisdom on July 1, 2011

Post image for Plant a Tree, Win a Prize. (Maybe)

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now,” says an old Chinese proverb.

Getting people to grow more trees in their neighborhoods and communities is the goal of a quickly growing online community called AmericanGrove.org.  To spread the word, they are giving away $50 gift cards to The Home Depot to two lucky Seasonal Wisdom readers…

Photo of an English tree by Ella’s Dad on Flickr.

Photo by Joiseyshowaa on Flickr

Nature lovers will find plenty to like about AmericanGrove.org.

What’s to Do? You can create a profile and upload pictures and stories about trees in your area. Share gardening tips with other tree lovers. Learn about special events, and discuss how to protect trees in your community.

Oregon tree by Jan Tik on Flickr

There’s also a rather nifty search tool that lets you learn more about the symbolism connected with various trees in your area. This is a nice touch if you’d like to commemorate special events by planting a particular tree.

North Carolina trees by Joanna8555 on Flickr

You’ll find plenty of  helpful tree-planting advice.  Certified arborists and staff members of the state and national forestry agencies are members of the community, and can answer your tree questions too.

Idaho Tree by Kevin O'Connor

How’d it Start? The roots of this tree-supporting online community reach back to 2008. That’s when the Georgia Urban Forest Council, Georgia Forestry Commission and U.S. Forest Service established a local program to encourage Georgia citizens to plant trees to protect the city’s urban tree canopy.

Illinois trees by Todd Ryburn on Flickr

The success of the Georgia program led other states, from Idaho and Illinois to Hawaii and Alaska, to establish local chapters.  There is an interactive map that allows you to find your state and join for free.

Photo by jrsnchzhrs on Flickr

Win the American Grove Giveaway

It’s easy to enter the Seasonal Wisdom-American Grove Giveaway. Just leave a comment below and tell us why the world needs more trees. Perhaps you’d like to focus on the environmental and beauty benefits of growing trees. Or, maybe you’d like to share a story of a favorite tree in your life.  As long as it supports trees, we want to hear!

Please submit your comments by July 8, 2011 to win. Two lucky Seasonal Wisdom readers will receive a $50 gift card to The Home Depot in this random drawing.  Just in time for your summer garden.

So hurry … and good luck!

Japanese maples in Idaho by Teresa O'Connor

Support your trees! Find American Grove …

On the Web at AmericanGrove.org.

On Twitter at @plantyourlegacy

On Facebook at The-Grove

Update: This random drawing is now over. Congratulations Jessica and Victoria.

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeavonna Chapman July 1, 2011 at 11:32 am

I love trees. Before I could spell environment I knew they were good for climbing, where the apples were kept before they got to the store, and a great place to hide or read a book. Now that I am much educated and traveled, I know that they are good for climbing, where more than apples are kept, and still a great place to hide or read a book. They are great for shade and, placed just so – great for holding up the hammock. I cannot imagine a life without trees.

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Teresa O'Connor July 1, 2011 at 11:44 am

Jeavonna: I agree completely. I can’t imagine life without trees either. Hope you keep climbing trees for a long time to come… Thanks for participating. And good luck! Teresa

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Jesse Miles July 1, 2011 at 11:38 am

Trees – I have always loved them….. from a sweet weeping willow swaying in the wind to the yummy fruit trees that provide us with wonderful nourishing foods. I love to share the fun and beauty of trees with my two kids and want there to be MANY trees for their future to enjoy!! Thanks for the great opportunity and this great community :)

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Teresa O'Connor July 3, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Jesse: I’m with you… there is nothing more graceful than a weeping willow swaying in the wind. Thanks for supporting trees, and good luck in this drawing. Teresa

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Todd Holbrooke July 1, 2011 at 12:20 pm

I am planting trees, bushes, and wild flowers for a great reason the rest of this year… I am adding major and minor nectar sources for the honeybee hive that I will starting next spring! Alson, I will only be adding Florida natives

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Teresa O'Connor July 1, 2011 at 2:17 pm

That’s great that you are supporting the honeybees, Todd. We need to boost their numbers! And I like the idea that you’re growing Florida natives … they will attract a lot of pollinators too. Thanks for entering.

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Denece Vincent July 1, 2011 at 12:37 pm

I love trees planted in towns and around buildings because they modify the microclimate, saving energy and making a more comfortable place to be besides just being good looking!

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Teresa O'Connor July 3, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Excellent points, Denece. There are plenty of practical reasons for loving trees too… Good luck in the drawing. Teresa

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Ann July 1, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Shade, Air, a place to cover your eyes while playing hide and seek. Trees are wonderful….

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Teresa O'Connor July 1, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Thanks for participating, Ann. Best of luck to you.

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Chris McLaughlin July 1, 2011 at 1:49 pm

The very first thing we need trees for is air. They can also cool your home and feed your soul. Plus everyone know that trees are magical. I was so happy to see that you want us to leave a comment on trees because I told husband-extraordinaire *today* that I’m planting a tree for every book that I write.

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Teresa O'Connor July 1, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Yes, Chris, I like that! A tree for every book you write… that’s a good tradition. Thanks for participating, and good luck.

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jessica July 1, 2011 at 4:26 pm

I have planted numerous trees around my house in the past three years that we have been here. Previously I was living in apartments and was so happy to put in edibles at my new place. I’m always encouraging the discouraged to plant trees now, sooner than later. One day these guys will provide lots of shade and food for me and my family, and they have already given me the gift of patience.

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Teresa O'Connor July 2, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Sounds like you have a great attitude, Jessica. Thanks for sharing your story, and for doing your part to keep America green with trees. Good luck!

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Victoria July 1, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Great giveaway! One of my favorite things is all the trees in our yard. We planted three Sweet Gums in our front yard and a beech, then a fir and a flowering plum in the backyard; 19 years ago! We now have over 13 trees on our small city lot. These trees provide us with wonderful shade, homes for birds and other wildlife and also contribute to a lovely looking landscape.

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Teresa O'Connor July 2, 2011 at 5:13 pm

How lovely, Victoria. You can look back over your yard and remember when you planted all those trees. You have such a lovely garden, and those trees play a wonderful role in the landscape. Good luck in the random drawing! Teresa

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Robin Horton/Urban Gardens July 2, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Cool giveaway idea, thanks!
Want to know the environmental and economic value your trees provide? The Tree Benefit Calculator allows you to make this simple estimation: you input your location by zip code to find your climate zone, add the tree species and size, and the calculator outputs out a dollar sum reflecting the benefits your tree provides.
http://ow.ly/5vyaE

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Teresa O'Connor July 2, 2011 at 5:15 pm

What a great idea, Robin. Thanks so much for sharing the Tree Benefit Calculator with Seasonal Wisdom readers. Good luck in the giveaway!

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Joanie Veage July 2, 2011 at 9:04 pm

It’s my belief, that, “If you plant them, they will come”. Now I am an animal lover. Part dog i think. Anyway, I planted my tree with the purpose of preservation, and longevity. I received a small, potted pine that Axl (Guns-n-Roses), Axl Rose gave me for Christmas 1991. After christmas, I transplanted that little tree in the Angeles National Forest’s, wildlife way station. Wanting to preserve this wonderful gift, and “pay it forward if you will”. Well, that tree is still standing. Thank You Axl. It’s been growing, and creating shade for abandoned animals, and or otherwise a home for migratory birds. I love knowing that. Just a simple act of kindness, and love of animals and trees alike. Plant a tree today.

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Teresa O'Connor July 3, 2011 at 1:14 pm

It’s nice to think of your little tree still in the national forest after all these years, Joanie. Thanks for sharing your story. And good luck in the random drawing. Teresa

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Ann Courcy July 3, 2011 at 7:32 am

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now,” says an old Chinese proverb. I love it! My shy son William, would spend the first half hour of birthday parties in a near-by tree getting comfortable before joining in. Trees were always his safe place. While going through my divorce, I would go to a local state park that had a giant pine forest. I shared many ideas, emotions and tears with those trees. I would tell people, “I’m going to talk to the trees.” They were always there for me, their strong, quiet presence would infuse my soul.

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Teresa O'Connor July 3, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Ann, thanks so much for sharing your touching story. I completely understand why people talk to trees. Some of them (such as the redwoods) are among the oldest living things on earth. May trees always infuse your soul, and good luck in the giveaway! Teresa

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Timothy July 4, 2011 at 1:49 pm

I love the shade trees provide for the house which keeps the cooling costs way down. Also they provide food and cover for wildlife.

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Teresa O'Connor July 5, 2011 at 8:16 am

So many good reasons to love trees. ..Thanks for participating Timothy, and good luck in the random drawing. Hug a tree! Teresa

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Lisa S July 5, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Hi Teresa,
Thank you for promoting this wonderful tree planting community. I had no idea it existed (must have missed a memo ;-)
I posted some pictures of our Camden, NJ tree plantings.
Plant more trees!

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Teresa O'Connor July 6, 2011 at 11:02 am

Lisa: So glad to spread the news to the New Jersey Tree Foundation! You all should definitely partner with them… Thanks for participating and best of luck in the drawing. Teresa

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Cherie July 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm

My family always thinks I’m weird because I am constantly saying, “Look at that tree!” I love the form of trees. I am always intrigued by their structure and see them really as a work of art. It is amazing that they produce our oxygen, and thus are crucial to our existence! We tend to forget how important they are. I am always grieved when I see someone cutting down a perfect good and healthy tree. We chose the neighborhood we live in because of the beautiful mature trees. The photos you posted are wonderful!!

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Teresa O'Connor July 6, 2011 at 11:01 am

Thanks so much, Cherie. We do tend to forget how vital trees are to our health and environment. Keep hugging trees, and good luck in the drawing. Teresa

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Chris S July 5, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Teresa, wow…this is music to all the #treechat folks :) What I love about trees beyond their beauty, the fresh fruit, or clean air they provide, the most special, is their growing legacy. There is nothing more majestic than standing beneath a centuries old tree wondering what the they’ve seen throughout the years or how they came to be. We talk about family and use terms like “our roots” or our “family tree”. Trees have been there all throughout mankind’s history and provided us with tools and shelter we needed to survive and flourish. It’s wonderful to see an organization encouraging and planting new trees for future generations to enjoy for centuries to come. Thanks Teresa!

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Teresa O'Connor July 6, 2011 at 11:00 am

Chris: I agree completely. I love the feeling of standing under an old tree, and wondering about all the things that have happened since it first sprouted roots. Thanks for your comments, and best of luck in the giveaway. Teresa

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Annie Haven | Authentic Haven Brand July 5, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Trees- Lovely tree shelter my house here at the ranch from the Summer Heat… The breeze blows through their leaves in the evening breeze Gods wind chimes you know. In the Fall they drop their leaves and by Winter they allow the sun to filter through their naked branches to add warmth to my home. How could I not love trees <|;-)

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Teresa O'Connor July 6, 2011 at 10:59 am

Hi Annie: You said it well. Trees provide special treats throughout the year. Your old tree sounds rather marvelous, by the way. Good luck in the drawing!

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Liz July 5, 2011 at 9:30 pm

I grew up enjoying the outdoors. In fact, electronics were banned in my house during the day, and so as a child, I had no choice but to go outside and enjoy what was before me. I learned to love the long walks in the woods, exploring abandoned fields, catching frogs and fish and, when I was exhausted, sitting down against a tall tree and enjoying a nice book.

Needless to say, the outdoors- and trees, specifically- played a large role in my childhood. When I went to college several years ago, my dad gave me “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein to take with me as a constant reminder of the delicacy of our world. As someone who still spends much of her time outside, I have come to appreciate trees for their environmental benefits, beauty and the history that is embedded in their trunks.

I agree with the others: it’s always fantastic to hear of efforts that exist to help keep trees around. :)

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Teresa O'Connor July 6, 2011 at 10:58 am

Liz, What a great story. Your childhood sounds rather idyllic, and I’m delighted you shared some details about it. Good luck in the random drawing.

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Alicia @culinarybliss July 6, 2011 at 7:46 am

I love all trees, but especially those that give us food. :)
I’m partial to cherry trees, which have gorgeous blossoms in the spring, fruit in the summer, and beautiful bark in the winter.
Being around trees just makes me feel infinitely more comfortable and relaxed.

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Teresa O'Connor July 6, 2011 at 10:57 am

I agree, Alicia. I love edible trees, including elder trees. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and good luck!

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Kelly July 6, 2011 at 9:20 pm

I planted 25 Crape Myrtle trees on July 4th, five years ago. We celebrated the 4th this year under lovely blooming shade. I love trees for more reasons than I can count. The way they look, feel, smell. The fruit, the flowers, the shade. Birds, squirrels, bees, children. They clean my air and refresh my soul.

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Lydia Habr July 7, 2011 at 9:36 am

We just planted a new tree in our back yard. A Ginkho Biloba tree! I can’t wait to see it change color this fall. The Ginkho tree is one of the oldest living tree species in the world, I read up on the tree when we bought it & it has some of the most interesting facts & stories associated with it. This tree will join the over 40 others that are growing on our property already. I love the variety, color and homes to wildlife they provide!

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Lydia Habr July 7, 2011 at 9:45 am

oops..realized I was misspelling the tree name..it’s Ginkgo Biloba.

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Teresa O'Connor July 7, 2011 at 11:40 am

Lydia, Congratulations on your latest addition to your home tree grove! Interesting to read about Ginkgo Biloba being one of the oldest living tree species. Thanks for sharing, and good luck in the giveaway. Teresa

Jennie Brooks July 7, 2011 at 11:49 am

There are so many trees in my life that I cherish the memory of, even if i don’t know the names. One is a small tree beside my Grandmother’s terrace in the mountians of NC. It had one branch out to the side that we could all reach and swing from. beautiful little tree too. the thought reminds me of lunch every day on that terrace, the large row of day liles that separated her yard from her neighbor’s, bird watching (this is where I learned all my birds), berry picking in the circle she lived on, eating sour green apples from Alice’s orchard across the street and catching fireflies in jars to put by our beds at night. And if you’ve ever been to the mountains of NC, there is a certain scent that fills the air, probably from all the trees. Thank you for this contest that caused me to relive these precious moments.

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Teresa O'Connor July 7, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Jennie: I just love the story of North Carolina trees in the mountains … especially the one near your grandmother’s terrace. And I used to catch fireflies in jars too! Thanks for sharing, and good luck in the giveaway. Teresa

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Lee Stadler July 7, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Beauty,Breathing,Blessings,Balance,Bio-diversity. How desolate the terrain would look without trees and of course our very existence requires that they be present in the grand scheme of things. We have owned our present home for less than two years and have added several trees to the partially wooded lot. We have bought trees as gifts to commemorate our grandchildren’s births. Even if their parents no longer live at the same home they can always say. That’s my tree. My favorite tree? The Dawn Redwood!

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Teresa O'Connor July 7, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Lee: That’s a wonderful tradition of buying trees as gifts for your grandchildren’s births. Who hasn’t felt sheltered lying next to an old majestic tree? Keep on loving trees, and thanks for entering the drawing. Teresa

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