Deliberate Agrarian
Snippet #20

Planting Trees

Dateline: 3 May 2014

Root system on a maple tree sapling.
(click to see an enlarged view)

Martin Luther is credited with saying, "Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Well, I guess I feel the same way. The world does seem to be going to pieces in so many ways but, last year, I planted some apple trees. And yesterday I bought 40 hardwood tree seedlings (2 years old) at my county conservation department's annual tree sale. 10 black cherry, 10 white oak, and 20 sugar maple. Total cost: $48. This is a first for me, and it's something of an experiment. I wanted to fill in some bare spots in my woods and along part of my field. The trees were relatively easy to plant. I marked each with a little flag, and will give them some TLC through this growing season. I'm thinking of planting a lot more in a section of my field next year. If all goes well, I'll be able to tap the sugar maple trees when I'm somewhere between 90 and 100 years old.


Sharon said...

I like the quote. It makes me remember my dad, who was a preacher, so we moved every five or so years. Still, knowing we wouldn't be in one place long, Daddy planted at least one tree wherever we lived. At 84,he is still gardening and planting trees. In his high school days, he heard a speech. "Take care of the old man" was its title, and Daddy said he thought that was a very disrespectful thing to say, thinking it meant take care of your Dad. But, the speech was about taking care of the old man you will become. That speech must have really stuck with him because he is now a healthy old man, healthier than his younger brothers - he's the oldest. I'm glad he is planting trees as part of taking care of the old man.

Unknown said...

I have been blessed by that quote by Martin Luther in my life. Sharon, I really like the quote you mention "Take care of the old man" ..... great food for thought and application!

Herrick Kimball said...


I agree with Unknown. That's a great little quote to remember and repeat. I suspect your father may have preached a sermon or two about it.

I've been getting some remarkably good little bits of wisdom in the comments lately. Which just goes to prove that a lot of smart folks read this blog.

Survival Gardener/David The Good said...

Black cherries are also delicious and fast-growing.

You'll be making jelly while you wait for your sugar maples.

Totally agree on planting trees. I've planted hundreds at this point and will not stop.

Clinton Johnson said...

You reminded me of this old (supposedly) Greek quote: "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."

I too did an experiment recently. I got a bunch of cuttings from my neighbors apples trees, put rooting hormone on them, and stuck them in the ground in my backyard. I have well over 50 of them this way... if 5 of them make it, I'll be ecstatic!