Besides making oxygen, being food, preventing soil erosion, providing shelter to all forms of animal life, and providing useful products for people. They beautify.
The world is mainly green. At least Florida. And now that spring has sprung a leak, everything seems greener. Not just green but that soft lime green of newness. Driving about through various parts of the city, one sees green lawns and foundational shrubs with an occasional specimen plant.
Myself, I like to plant trees; they create a micro environment where other plants that thrive in shade can grow. The idea is to plant in threes. A tree, a shrub and some sort of ground cover.
But to plant a tree implies management of the tree. Care given to the tree by way of pruning. Years ago, I used to banzai maple trees from those little shoots that shoot up around this time of the year; had one for eleven years in a pot but through neglect it died of thirst.
That’s when I decided to plant my trees in the ground, the earth is more forgiving than a pot. Though it may seem an eternity for a tree such as an oak to reach a sizable height but from my experience they grow much like children, pretty fast. But granted they are slower to gain height than say a maple, but grow they will. It takes a good 15 years for a live oak to reach adolescences where a maple shoots up in four.
Basic pruning can be learned. I mainly discard any growth that does not signify what will become the tree’s main branching system. And remove branchings that may overlap and any branch that grows downward; thus lifting the crown of the tree. I even top my trees to keep them at a height that I can continue to manage them, but at the same time with my oak, I’m encouraging it to grow up and out over the street away from our power lines.
Trees change us by allowing us to grow with them.