This week in honor of Earth Day, we are planting a Cornus florida ‘Cherokee Brave’, commonly known as flowering Dogwood. This small deciduous tree will grow 25 to 30 feet tall, and is considered one of the most beautiful of the native American flowering trees. It is the state tree of Missouri and Virginia. Bloom time is early spring in April with flowers featuring red bracts that fade to white in the center. Here are some interesting facts about trees.
- Trees absorb pollutants through their leaves, trapping and filtering contaminants from the air. Just as all green plants, trees produce oxygen through photosynthesis. One tree can take in more than one ton of carbon dioxide in its lifetime.
- Where there are trees, there will be wildlife. Trees provide shelter and food for a variety of birds, insects and small animals.
- Trees are great for conserving energy for the home. Planting trees on a sunny side of a house can reduce air-conditioning cost by 30 percent.
- Trees can improve health and well-being. Exposure to trees has a relaxing effect, which is why hiking can be a great stress reliever. Hospital patients with a window view of trees recover faster than those without.
So as you can see, these are just some of the many functions trees can provide for all species. Trees are so important for our environment. We should be grateful and help protect these precious gifts from our Mother Earth.
~ Michelle LaPierre / Glenholme Horticulturist