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Today is National Arbor Day. It’s a day created to encourage people to plant and care for trees.

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I live in an older neighborhood. Some of the houses here are more than 50 years old. I live in the “new” part of the neighborhood. My house is a mere 40 years old. Around the neighborhood, you see lots of mature trees. But you also see yards barren of trees. And almost all other vegetation, for that matter. Some of my neighbors love to soak their weed-prone areas with Round-Up every spring.

My next door neighbor has not one single tree in their yard. Not one. We, on the other hand, have planted trees, cared for the ones that were here when we bought the house, and sometimes let the “volunteers” grow where they planted themselves.

Where are the trees?

We’re currently looking for a new home. The houses in the newer neighborhoods are very nice, but one thing about them really bothers me.¬†No trees.

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We have a drainage pond behind our house. It runs behind every house on our side of the street. Earlier this month, the city spent several days cleaning it up, and then had to put down an erosion control barrier behind the houses that have no trees bordering the pond. Erosion control one of the important things that trees do for us.

Another is they produce oxygen and provide a home for wildlife. One the simple joys in my life is hearing the birds waking up in the morning and coming home to roost in the evening.

The shade that trees provide helps reduce energy usage during the summer. Who wouldn’t want to see lower electric bills in the summer?

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So, on this Arbor Day 2017, consider planting a tree. You don’t have to spend any money. Just grab one of those “helicopters” that come off the maple trees this time of year and find a nice place to plant it. Or find a sapling growing in a location where it’s likely not to survive, and replant it in a better spot.

If you can spare 10 bucks or so, you can purchase a nice tree from a home improvement store or local garden center. Some stores — Home Depot, for example — even give away free seedlings on Arbor Day.

It’s Arbor Day. Let’s celebrate trees!

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