I think that I shall never see, a poem lovely as a tree.
Joyce Kilmer wrote those words to open his poem “Trees.” I agree with his sentiment and have admired, lived and played under trees all of my life. Trees provide shade to cool our homes and a quiet place where we can sit and contemplate life. They absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Trees take our by-products, combine it with sunlight and through the magic of photosynthesis, provide food for our bodies. And, of course, there is the inspiration we receive from admiring their natural beauty.
The Ford House landscape has several lovely trees carefully arranged by the family and landscape designer, Jens Jensen. Earlier this summer, in the glow of late afternoon, I captured this photo of the majestic elm (Ulmus americana) on the lawn between the house and the meadow. Jensen used light and shadow to capture changing moods in the landscape. At this moment in time, the focus is obvious and enchanting. If you can, I encourage you to explore our landscape at all times of the day and throughout the year. The changes are dramatic and the reward is yours to discover.
As I cruise around town, I am shocked by the starkness of our urban landscapes. Our yards and communities could use more trees. August is the perfect time to begin planning for fall tree planting. Here are some suggestions for trees that will radiate beauty in your yard.
- Paperbark maples (Acer griseum) have beautiful exfoliating bark.
- Japanese maples (Acer japoncium) have foliage that is both beautiful and provide excellent shade.
- Hawthorn trees (Crateagus species) are perfect for a smaller yard, come in many different varieties and were a favorite of Jens Jensen.
- Red maples (Acer rubrum) offer shades of yellow, orange and vibrant red in the fall.
- Oaks (Quercus) are an investment tree that have a long life and are perfect for a larger yard.
- Hickories (Carya species) have a lovely form and provide food for wildlife.
Do your homework to ensure you have the “right tree in the right place” and, you too can witness Mr. Kilmer’s sentiment for trees.