It All Depends…

Yet another mid-winter week or so spent traveling east across Nevada and Utah on I-80 reminds me of how much I depend on trees. Not just as a livelihood mind you, but more for my sanity as I just could not survive in a treeless environment.

Don’t get me wrong. I think the desert is awesome, but a week without trees for me seems like a lifetime.

I think about the ravens sitting on the fence posts I am whizzing by at 85 miles an hour and wondering. “Damn, I bet that raven could really use a tree right about now…” Of course there were power poles to nest in, but the treeless moonscape of the Great Salt Lake and Nevada desert are a kind of shocking reality to a Pacific Northwest native like myself.

I consider how many animals, and people for that matter, depend on trees in our neck of the woods (yep, pun intended) just to survive and thrive, and just have to wonder how anything or anyone could survive in a treeless society…

Funny-strange, not funny ha-ha were all the towns I traveled through on the way had only two kinds of trees in them. One kind were the neglected leafless souls silhouetted on the skyline above the double wide trailers in various stages of dilapidated disrepair, or the butchered botched boles amongst the  same double wide debacles dotting the sides of the interstate. It wasn’t until about west of Boomtown when I felt like I was re-entering Earth’s atmosphere again

God, how I missed being in a forest!

Funny and strange too are the new stripmall plantings I saw on my journey. It goes something like this:

#1. Bulldoze a swath of desert floor.

#2. Erect a wall of chain stores that look exactly like every other ugly stripmall in the country.

#3. Plant the most pathetic excuse for a crappy tree in neat little rows like so many pool cues.

#4. Move up the road a few miles and repeat the process…

It really makes me appreciate the fact that I live in a place where people take trees seriously enough to keep me in business. Trees really set the mood and living amongst happy trees that are appreciated makes the world a better place.

I felt sorry for the trees that nobody cared about and sorrier still for the people that had to live under them. “If they just had happy trees.” I thought, but maybe they like it that way, hard sayin’ not knowin.’

Safe to say moving East won’t be on my list of things to do any time soon, but it is enlightening to see how the other half lives, lest I forget how good I have it.

Yes, now is the time for conifer pruning if that needs to be done, and too early for flowering fruit trees.

If you have transplanting to do, or planting of trees, start digging, it is time!

Stockpiling mulch or mulching existing planted sites is the order of the day.

We are off to a so-so water year and retaining as much moisture in your soils will go a long way this coming growing season.

As always, plant high and often…

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