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Climate for Action: Add Some Green to Your Community and Plant Some Trees

2009 May 12

About the Author: Michelle Gugger graduated from Rutgers University in 2008. She is currently spending a year of service at EPA’s Region 3 Office in Philadelphia, PA as an AmeriCorps VISTA.

image of tree with red leavesOne of the best things you can do for the environment is plant trees. Trees have so many environmental benefits. Trees produce oxygen, reduce air pollution, save energy, reduce storm water runoff, prevent soil erosion, provide wildlife habitat and reduce carbon from entering into the environment. Trees also add beauty to the environment! Many people plant trees because it makes their lawns look nicer. People also travel from all over the world to see trees located in our national parks, preserves and old growth forests.

If you’re interested in planting trees in your city or neighborhood to add to its beauty or help protect the environment – here’s how you can start:

  • Call your local horticultural society or local nursery. They can tell you what trees are best suited for the area. Your local horticultural society may also be able to tell you if there are any free tree programs in your area.
  • Talk to your friends and neighbors about becoming involved in the planting process. It’s an easy process and can be a lot of fun too! But, be sure you contact a governing official if you are not planting the trees on your own property.
  • Don’t forget to take care of the trees once you plant them. Trees need some care during their first couple of years which includes watering, mulching and supporting the tree to stand up vertically.

Now that it is spring, it is the perfect time to get out and plant a few trees. Planting trees is always a good time and it would also be a great way for you to become a climate ambassador in your community. Planting just one tree will reduce 13 pounds of carbon from entering into the atmosphere in a year. And, the more you can plant, the bigger impact you can make in reducing carbon!! Do you want to plant more trees in your community? Be sure to tell us why and what plans you will want to make.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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11 Responses leave one →
  1. Jackenson Durand permalink
    May 12, 2009

    It is going green in the town where i am currently living so far.
    Far away, where i grew up i could image that they are going black there, that is where i have to add my action.

  2. Lisa McVaugh permalink
    May 13, 2009

    Last year I purchased some land more just for a place to go and relax. Well I couldn’t just leave 20 acres in grass so I decided to plant Pecan and English Walnut trees. So far I have planted 440 Pecan trees and only 10 English Walnut trees. I’m looking for English Walnut seeds from the North , Northeast. As I still have 15 acres to plant to trees.

  3. Michelle permalink
    May 14, 2009

    Great! I’d be interested in knowing what types of green changes your town is making.

  4. Michelle permalink
    May 14, 2009

    Trees add a lot of beauty to an empty area. This sounds like a nice place to go and relax at!

  5. jeffrey permalink
    May 14, 2009

    Anyone know of Grants that communities can get to maintain trees?
    Many don’t have budgets for cutting lower branches that often get hit by trucks when they stretch out into the streets. If the street trees can be thinned out they might be able to have wind pass through them and not blow them over during storms. They also need to cut the dead/dieing braches througout the tree at the proper spot at the collar so they’ll heal properly.

  6. Michelle permalink
    May 15, 2009

    You may want to contact the master gardening program in your county. Master gardeners are required to do some volunteer time and are very skilled in their trade.

  7. Linda permalink
    May 18, 2009

    Planting trees is a wonderful way to enhance a community, but I’ve learned an important (and sometimes expensive) lesson over the years: if you live in an area with hot summers, it’s best to plant your new trees in the autumn. Here’s why:
    1. Young trees need a lot of water. In the blazing summer heat, that water evaporates faster, so the trees need even more water–this is a strain for the trees, you, and perhaps the community water system if droughts and water restrictions are a problem in your area.
    2. The summer season is when the tree is most actively growing, putting out leaves, possibly flowers, increasing in height, etc. All of that demands a lot of energy, which is delivered by a healthy, well-established root system … which newly planted trees don’t have yet.

    If you plant your trees in the early fall, they have the rest of the fall and winter to develop that strong healthy root system *before* they have to do any other growing. Since they are mostly dormant other than at the roots, they need less water, and winter rains can help provide it. That way, when spring comes, the trees are already well-established and ready to do some serious growing.

  8. Michelle permalink
    May 18, 2009

    If your plants are not getting enough water in the summer and you can’t get around to watering them – you may want to purchase a water ring. I believe this website has a few sellers for water rings

  9. ForestWanderer permalink
    October 2, 2009


    Please plant a tree.

    We need modern day Johnny Appleseeds.

    The more trees we have the more vibrant fall colors there will be each year.

  10. antigonum cajan permalink
    November 4, 2009

    I have practiced Guerrill Gardening not far from our residence. Two
    trees for the environment.
    ON the other hand I publish a creative horticultural
    criticism blog, on all possible related issues in Puerto Rico, USA and else.
    With over one hundred species identified with their botanical names
    in our residence and watching what goes on daily.

  11. Modern Muslimah Fashion permalink
    November 11, 2009

    Over here in Malaysia, most of us love having variety of plants surrounding the house. It’s beautiful scenery when you walk around the village area. Some areas have paddy field, the scenery is just breathtaking……

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