On Arbor Day, plant a tree to plant a memory

Submitted Photo A tree lilac is shown in this photo by J. Fech. Arbor Day is April 27, a day to recognize trees and their importance.

Arbor Day is Friday, April 27. It is a recognition of trees and their importance in our world. It is a good time to plant a tree or shrub. Trees are a great way to honor someone, either living or passed, as well as pets, and important life events. Colleen and I plant a tree or shrub for each grandchild we have. We are at a point that we are getting close to being out of room in our yard. A very good problem!!

At the recent Spring Fever Garden Forum on April 2, the topics for the program were all devoted to trees. They provided very useful and interesting information on different topics related to trees for North Dakota.

Greg Morgenson, NDSU tree researcher, gave a presentation on “Small Statured Ornamental Trees.” He gave numerous examples of trees that will fit in smaller spaces. Many of them are flowering trees adding to the springtime enjoyment of them. Some are also fruit trees that add another dimension to their enjoyment. There are some very attractive trees that are 20 feet tall or less that will add variety and beauty to a yard.

Joe Zeleznik, Extension forester, spoke of “Elms for North Dakota.” The American elm is the North Dakota State tree. Unfortunately, Dutch elm disease killed many thousands of them in the past 40-plus years. Joe shared with the group information about a number of newer American elm varieties which are resistant to Dutch elm disease and can be planted now. This is great news for homeowners and rural residents wanting shade trees and shelterbelt trees.

Todd West, Woody Plant Improvement coordinator, spoke about “Tough Trees for Tough Sites.” His presentation was about trees that are drought and shade tolerant as well as trees which will grow in wet soils, soils that are more saline or salty, and trees that will fit under utility power lines. All of these more stressful growing sites are all across the state. These tree varieties will give an option for shade, wind protection and beauty in these site.

If you were not able to attend the Spring Fever Forums, you can find these presentations as well as all the others from the 2018 series at this website: ag.ndsu.edu/springfever.

At this site you will find a YouTube video of each presentation as well as a link to the printed material that was given to participants. And you will also find the Spring Fever presentations from 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 as well.

So consider planting a tree for a new birth, an old friend, a family member, a pet or just because. It will add beauty and shade to your home, a home for birds and animals, and will help to keep the air we breathe clean.

Ken Eraas is horticulture assistant with NDSU Extension Service/Ward County. He can be reached at kendell.eraas@ndsu.edu.