It's October, and we are enjoying a taste of Indian Summer here in Chicagoland. The leaves on the trees changing colors paired with 75-80 degree sunny weather makes staying indoors impossible.
All talk turns to trees this time of year. The brilliant colors. The falling leaves. Fall always inspires me to plant a tree in my yard, and this year is no different. I'm focusing on native plants in my home landscape - but there are so many to choose from. Considering that any tree that I plant will most likely outlive me, I really want it to have a special meaning. That's when I looked to The Grove.
The Grove is an online community that was established in 2008 by the Georgia Urban Forestry Council, The Georgia Forestry Commission and the US Forest Service. Since then, other states have joined the community with the intent of inspiring people to plant trees in their yards and neighborhoods. You can share tree planting stories, tree and gardening resources, photos, and videos with other green-minded people.
I turned to The Grove's Tree Selector which helps with the selection of trees for the commemoration of an occasion like a birth or milestone birthday, or a memorial. I selected my state, and for the life event I selected "Family Appreciation." Not to get all mushy or anything, but over the last few months I've been feeling particularly content with life and so thankful for my family and friends. Digging in the dirt does that to you, I think.
The Tree Selector chose Celtis occidentalis (Hackberry), which surprised me because I had recently studied this tree and wanted to add it to our yard to support local wildlife. It's berries attract many different songbirds, and attracting birds is one of the reasons I want to plant native trees in the first place!
In addition to the Tree Selector at The Grove, you can also get tree advice from certified arborists and staff from state and national forestry agencies. You can find events happening in your area, and watch cool tree videos (my idea of a hot Friday night these days). You can even join your state "Grove" and connect with others in your area. C'mon, Illinois, we need more members! Click on "Groups" to find your state. So, won't you join me in The Grove?