Occasionally, a reader will ask what I am going to write about this week. Many readers have no clue as to what I am going to write. It may come as a surprise to these readers that I might not know myself. The subject planned for this week has been postponed after I have seen many beautiful flowering trees in recent days and weeks.
Azaleas, a shrub, were especially beautiful during our recent visit to Conway, Ark., and they were grown in abundance. As we traveled to the north on U.S. Highway 65 to Branson in the mountains of Arkansas, we observed numerous numbers of dogwoods, the Missouri state tree. I have never seen so many dogwoods. They were beautiful and it was a great enjoyment to see them.
In the last few days we have had the enjoyment of seeing a great number of redbuds here in Nevada. Their blooms have really been beautiful.
Before the redbuds there have been numerous other trees that we have enjoyed this spring such as the pear trees and others. We have been provided with a beautiful spring with all of the trees providing numerous amounts of blooms.
Several years ago, when our sons were young boys, we went on a trip in Colorado. I was enjoying the scenery and often used the term, "it is breathtaking." Evidently, I overused the term and they got rather tired of it and they would say it in a manner of teasing me. Even now, as I see something that is beautiful, they may say, "it is breathtaking."
Too often we go about our daily activities without appreciating the beauty we are seeing. At present we are enjoying a great amount of green. We need to take time to recognize this beauty and enjoy it. If we really look around it is "breathtaking." It may be as we become more mature that we appreciate this beauty more than when we were younger?
A few years ago -- accurately, it has been more than just a few years ago; it must have been three decades or more -- there was a major effort to make Nevada known as the Redbud City. There was an intensive effort to get people to plant redbuds. A forester pointed out that it is somewhat dangerous to plant a large number of the same variety of tree. This adds to the possibility of being more subject to diseases and insects. It was suggested to make it a flowering tree city instead of one type of tree. About three or four years ago, one forester did not agree with this philosophy.
The idea of changing the emphasis from one type of flowering tree to be known as a flowering tree city, never developed and the whole thing was dropped. Still, this remains as a great idea and it is time for a renewal of the effort to make Nevada a flowering city and to be recognized as a city with a great amount of flowering trees.
As the redbuds have been observed in recent days and there are many, thoughts went back to the days of Nevada as the Redbud City. Thoughts were that we were enjoying the trees that were planted at that time. As I looked at the redbud trees in the courthouse yard, I noticed that the redbuds there were planted in recent years. The ones that were originally in the yard are now gone. This made me realize that most of the trees planted back when an effort was being made for Nevada to be a Redbud City have vanished and we are enjoying another generation of trees. Redbuds have a relative short life of 20 to 30 years.
In landscaping the shade trees are most important. Flowering trees can be added to the landscape and it is suggested that two or three flowering trees are enough in most small lawns.
Trees are planted for those in the future to enjoy, still it does not take many years for them to be an enjoyment. It is being stressed that planting trees are good for the environment. This week Aquila provided 25 trees and with the assistance from volunteers planted the trees at the golf course and at the elementary schools.
The fall has often been referred to as the best time to plant a tree. Pat Miller, extension agronomist, said that in recent years it has not been the best due to the summers being too dry. Right now she says there is plenty of moisture. New trees should be watered during dry periods.
Pat suggested that there are better varieties of pears to plant than a Bradford Pear which is not a good variety, it will split. Dogwood is difficult to grow. It needs to be planted under another tree and will be competing for the moisture. There are other varieties of Dogwood now available.
Pat had several suggestions for flowering trees in this area and may be contacted at the University of Missouri Extension Center located on the ground floor of the courthouse.
Good references to refer to for information on the selection of flowering trees include "Missouri Urban Trees published by the Missouri Department of conservation and University Extension G6805 Selecting Landscaped Plants Flowering Trees.