How Do Trees Give To You?

How Do Trees Give To You?

“And when he was tired, he would sleep in her shade. And the boy loved the tree very much. And the tree was happy.”

This quote, from Shel Silverstein’s book, “The Giving Tree,” illustrates perfectly how some of our summers may be going: relaxing under the protection of a tree that is constantly providing us with shade, nourishment and beauty. 

“The Giving Tree” is written around a central message, told through a story of a boy growing old with his tree. It’s about remembering to be thankful for one another. As a result of reading and enjoying the book, people have created family handprint trees or fingerprint trees to represent their bonds.

Just like the tree in the book, our trees are always giving to us, especially with the benefits of the shade. On a hot, sunny days that we can expect this summer, trees help lower bills from air conditioners and naturally cool homes. In fact, a healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours per day.

Now, this classic book has inspired another creative project: a wooden bench, created from the wood of a tree that had to be removed to make room for a new charitable facility.

Recently, five crewmembers from Maier Tree & Lawn, a newly acquired Davey company, removed a large American elm to make room for The Place For Everyone, a facility that now houses the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester and the Child Care Resource and Referral Group.

With the help of Marcy and Steve Wolfe of the local Panera Bread, Daryl Nigon of Nigon Woodworks and Nick Manahan of Manahan’s Machine Shop, Maier turned the leftover wood into a bench for A Chair Affair, an annual charity gala that auctions artisan-created chairs to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester.

Some descriptionThe bench’s theme came from “The Giving Tree.” Engraved on the bench is a quote from the book, space for two copies of the book and a planter in which a new tree can grow. So, in a sense, the removed tree became a giving tree itself, says Jay Maier, founder of Maier.

“The book addresses all aspects of the importance of trees,” Maier explains. “It’s not all about saving trees that makes them so good, but it is also about how useful they can be once they are gone.”

Maier says he also uses “The Giving Tree” as inspiration elsewhere. To celebrate Arbor Day every year, he reads the book to kindergarten classes in the area and talks with grade school students about the importance of trees.

“Seeing what this project did for the Boys and Club still makes me smile,” Maier says. “The project helped validate how important our jobs and trees are.”

Now, just like the tree, the bench can give community members a place to rest. This summer, be sure to remember how trees are always working to give us a place to relax in the shade and providing us with endless benefits. Feel free to share how trees continue to benefit your summer in the comment section below, or share a tree-themed community project you’ve experienced recently!

Add a comment:
Featured or Related Blog Posts
  • White Noise

    I live 500 yards from train tracks and 5 miles from a major highway.

    The train typically whistles and rumbles, bumping along the track in a forceful, metal grinding push. The highway, in the meantime, sends out the normal grumbling hum-drum of heavy traffic as semi trucks move large loads, small automobiles whiz by them and occasional construction crews jack hammer.

    Noise. It has been known to cause anxiety, tension or even illness, and prolonged exposure to high levels of noise can cause hearing loss, the USDA National Agroforestry Center says in its report "Leaf the Noise Out." Today, some people even regard noise as a form of environmental pollution. Yet, noise is a part of everyday life.

    Read More
  • Keep Your Cool

    I took my kids to the zoo today.

    And it was hot.

    While 81 degrees really isn't that scorching, the humidity was 90 percent. It was muggy - that kind of humid where your skin feels sticky and clammy, your breath short, your clothes clingy and your feet heavy.

    Read More
  • Head in the Clouds

    Last summer, on a day when the sky was a perfect, azure blue, my 3½-year- old daughter, Sylvia, stopped playing in her sandbox and came over to sit in the patio chair beside me. She sunk her body into the seat and leaned her head as far back as the recliner would let her. Exhaling with a giant sigh, reflecting her happiness and welcome break from her time spent building castles and small villages, she said, "Momma, put your head back and look up at the beautiful trees in the blue sky."

    It was the first time she said something that seemed so adult because it was so reflective and observant. I immediately complied. And the rush of a typical day, along with its deadlines and constant interruptions, melted away. We watched the soft, fluffy clouds roll by and the wind flutter every leaf on every tree, commenting on the sound and the way the light filtered through the trunks as it descended in the sky. But mostly we just observed. And, in that moment, we made a mother-daughter memory.

    Many of my family's memories tend to center around nature. On a recent visit to the beach, Sylvie and I made wind chimes out of seashells. After each addition, she'd pick up the chime to hear the tink, tink, tink of the shells as the wind caught them, listening intently and then saying we "should add just one more." We have spent time during every season in local parks, building snowmen and sledding in winter, observing new plant buds in spring, smelling sweet flowers in summer and collecting the prettiest leaves in the fall. We tend to have the most fun in our own backyard. I think it's because we spend the most time there working the soil and observing. We've planted many vegetable, fruit and flower seeds in our garden together - digging holes, dropping seeds in, covering them up and giving the soil extra little pats along with water to get it moist. We have sat under many a tree and reflected on birds flying to and from their nests, watched bunnies hopping around the garden and just enjoyed the shade. But this will be the first year we plant a tree together.

    Read More
  • Trees Got Your Back

     

    I have to admit that sometimes in the dead of winter on cold, cold days, I get a bit claustrophobic. I feel cramped. Inside, it feels dark. It's almost like I can't breathe.

    So I put on my thickest coat over some layers and step outside. The first few moments are pretty cold - I curl in on myself, nearly tempted to run back inside to the waiting warmth. But, usually once I start walking, my blood starts flowing and I start to warm up a bit. So I keep going.

    Read More
  • Keep Coming, Old Man Winter – My Trees Will Keep Me Warm

    In two days, its the official first day of winter, I realize that each day going forward, temperatures will continue to get colder and colder.

    As I pile on the turtlenecks, the cable knit and the wool, I realize I'm adding so many layers it's like adding on half a person in clothes just to stay warm. Needless to say, I'm a "freeze baby," as they call it. It always takes me longer than usual to get warm on the coldest of days, like my body just refuses to adapt to the cooler temperatures.

    It's these nights when I'm curled up inside with a blanket by a warm fire that I think about my trees. Yep, that's right, my trees. They're outside, but they're helping keep me warm in the winter.

    Read More

Request a consultation

What do you need services for?
Sorry, we can’t seem to find the zip code you specified. Our residential tree care offices may not service your area. If you believe this is an error, please try again. Need help? Email us at info@davey.com.
  • Email newsletter
  • Woodchips
*Please fill out all required fields.