No time like the present to plant trees

With the coming of spring, the urge to plant something – anything – is increasingly hard to ignore.

But why even try to shake it off? You don’t have to have a green thumb or a big garden space in order to plant something. Think trees.

And, yes, there is an actual need for more trees in the Minot area. In fact, we can never have enough trees in our communities.

Minot wasn’t always as green as it is. Photographs of Minot in its early days show the townsite devoid of trees until one reached the banks of the Souris River. Most every tree you can find in Minot was planted.

With downtown Minot undergoing so much change, now would seem to be a good time to plant more trees. The idea of designated green space downtown should be just the beginning of greater plans to green up that part of town.

Up out of the valley, settlers once planted mile after mile of shelter belts to keep their soil from drifting, and different varieties around their farmsteads, again for protection but also to beautify.

Now, many of those shelterbelts need replacing; they’ve done their job and like aging human stewards of the land are waiting for the next generation to take up the challenge. Things are no different in town. Some of the massive cottonwoods we both love and hate for different reasons come down every year, victims of age.

Another area ripe for tree planting is the residential boulevards.

The Minot Forestry Department is taking orders for trees for its annual Boulevard Tree Planting Program. People interested can call the Forestry Department at 857-4178.

The department is a great resource for property owners interested in planting the right tree for their property and learning how to properly care for it.

City forester Brian Johnson was interviewed recently about the program and the need for careful selection.

“We allow the homeowner to pick (the tree or trees) and then we go out and measure the boulevard to make sure it will fit the variety that they chose,” Johnson said. “We try to help them pick the kind of tree that they’ll be satisfied with. Sometimes certain varieties do better down in the valley than they do up on North or South Hill. We want to make sure they get a tree that will last a lifetime.”

A tree for a lifetime; a pleasant thought indeed.