Plant a tree for Father’s Day and give a lasting gift
Father’s Day is one short week away! In our third installment of more meaningful gifts for dad (see also home improvement gift ideas and how to renovate the garage for Father’s Day), you could plant a tree for Father’s Day in honor of the father, father figure, husband, son, or brother in your life. Planting a tree in honor (or memory) of someone special in your life can be a very meaningful, symbolic and touching gesture because a tree will last for decades, reminding the recipient of his place in your life for a long time. There are also plenty of options to plant a tree remotely through an organization such as TreeCycler and Arbor Day Foundation which are dedicated to promoting tree growth in devastated (or clear cut) areas. Both methods honor dad and help out the environment.
How to plant a tree for Father’s Day
If you’re going the traditional route of actually planting a tree somewhere dad can see it, a little research will be required. First, knowing what types of tree species thrive in your area will ensure that you get a tree that won’t become sick and wither, or die, or simply not grow. The point of planting a tree is that it is supposed to bloom and grow into something far bigger and stronger and impressive than what you started out with, but a non-native tree might not thrive or even survive in your area. An understanding of your climate includes things such as annual rain fall, daily sunlight, soil composition, and temperature variations. Choosing a tree that is designed for your particular environment will give you the best odds of its survival and ability to thrive.
Before buying the tree think about where, exactly, you’ll plant it. Too near an existing structure can eventually require too much trimming, while too near other trees can give the sapling too much shade and stunt its growth. You want to leave enough room for it to grow and expand to its full height and width, and keep in mind that tree roots stretch several feet deep and wide. Having to deal with cracked concrete because it was planted too close to a patio can be a pain, while dealing with a ruptured water pipe can be downright nightmareish. Depending on the type of tree you get you should know where water and gas lines run under the soil and choose a location that both gives the tree enough room and won’t disrupt the hardscaping or structural integrity of your home. Never underestimate the power and strength of tree roots when they’re pitted against man made objects!
Keeping all that in mind, it’s almost as important to choose a tree that dad will love. While you may not be able to fulfill his desires if his favorite tree is too exotic for your locale (you wouldn’t want to plant a tree that will shrivel up during the first winter), if there’s a relatively local tree that he’s always admired choosing that species will do well. A tree that flowers or bears fruit or has interestingly colored leaves will make your tree gift stand out and will encourage dad to look forward to the fruitful season. There are also several tree species that have a different look for each season, providing a change every few months to keep it exciting. Keep dad’s preferences and interests in mind when selecting your tree for Father’s Day.
How to plant a virtual tree for Father’s Day
Not everyone can plant a physical tree in honor of Father’s Day, but there are ways to make the same gesture symbolically. Many organizations allow you to plant a tree in a remote location, usually in an area that has been hurt by man-made activities, using the internet. You can choose your location, which can be anywhere from freezing Alaska to the rainforests of the Amazon, and the organization based on dad’s interests. Some organizations also have more local tree planting services, allowing you to select an area you and dad can or do visit together, which will make this virtual gift a little more real the next time you travel to that area.
Planting a tree online through a charity will most often help support the growing economy of that region. Areas devastated by a natural disaster can be in great need of trees to keep their soil intact, whereas areas devastated by human activities use these trees to support natural habitats and local native economies, who usually depend on their environment for survival. In many cases, you’ll get a printable certificate, which you can give to dad in lieu of a card, which shows him how his tree has contributed to a habitat, economy and the planet as a whole. Existing tree forests are the source for the vast majority of the planet’s climate regulators, removing harmful carbon dioxide from the environment and providing us with a constant supply of fresh oxygen, and contributing to the survival of these forests helps everyone.