Is it important to be able to recognize and pin a name on at least a few of our tree companions in the space we share? I believe it is. Some persons do have the opinion that labels, such as tree species names, are not only not important, but that naming them removes some of the mystery, that it fragments “nature” into individual parts and interferes with holistic thinking when you put a tree species into a box, labeled “sugar maple” or “hemlock.”
Late June and early July have proven to be humdingers in decline or total loss of some prominent members of our (tree) community. The unusual springtime drought has proven difficult for newly planted trees, and in response we shut down our roadside tree planting program early to await autumn’s soil moisture recharge. Fortunately, the nine trees planted for shade at the Town Beach playground have received tender loving watering thanks to Greg Smith (Recreation Commission) and the beach attendant Emma Slater with assist from the tree warden team.
The slippery or red elm standing in front of the home of Christie and Dave Garrett on Thompson’s Point Road has always impressed me mightily, and indeed, with a girth of 232 inches, it is the biggest of its kind in Charlotte.
Arbor Day is recognized nationally as a special day for honoring trees, but especially for planting trees. The national official day is April 29, but Vermont has designated it for May 6. I suspect that this is due to our more northerly location—we are usually a week later.
Trees and other plants lack this kind of mobility and so must remain fixed in the place where they were born, facing all the stresses that nature and humans trigger. Their offspring are able to migrate away from adverse conditions through the dispersal of their seed or their root suckering alone, and that movement is a slow one.
An American or white elm tree on Dorset Street in Charlotte is currently achieving a remarkable measure of fame in the media. It has been given the name Henrietta (even though elms are both male and female) by the family on whose land she grows and thrives.
You may need prescription strength NATURE—a walk in the forest, a hug with a tree. This is a non-harmful, yet addictive medication shown to relieve the crippling symptoms of modern life—and not just for Vermonters.