By Joyce Arleen Corson
My life has taken me from Indiana flat land to a blunt edge of a glacier, formed early on from a meteor strike or a natural occurring volcano.
This phenomenon left kettle lakes filled with fresh water from endless flowing artesian wells. At the request of a dear friend we were lured to the beautiful natural wonder of Lake Papakeechie, named after Miami Indian Chief Papakeechie.
Circumstances happen and I have been happy to create stories about my agriculture environment from parents, living off the land and our children who excel from haut cuisine.
I had no problem identifying corn, beans and strawberries, but I took readily to identifying cattail, wild rice and sedges! Upon exploring the area of our new home, I found a colony of quaking aspen — populus tremuloides.
The petioles holding the flat leaf in place at a right angle is moved by a breeze of air causing it to tremble! However, on a second visit to this beautiful colony of trees I found they had been burned in a leaf fire. I was divested.
The Master Gardeners directed me to the Kosciusko Arbor Day Sale of native trees. I immediately bought six aspen trees and planted them on Thanksgiving vacation after their sap was drained for the winter. Three survived.
It’s time to give back to our world and plant trees. By November the trees are shedding their leaves as the running sap is going to the roots. Some species are more marcescent than others. Oaks, beeches, hornbeams and hop-hornbeams commonly hold their leaves. Younger trees exhibit marcesence more often than mature trees because the tree leaves know when their nutrition is used up and spring is here. Stress from drought or disease can cause impairment in any deciduous species!
Aspen loves water and I planted them on our property line avoiding any sewer pies and giving me a distance view with plenty of sunlight. It is tall growing and by now it has grown several feet over my head.
This fascinating and enchanting tree has many attributes and will readily oblige those who are looking to quickly colonize large areas. Numerous birds call it home. It will excel for you as it is doing for me with routine maintenance of fresh water, basic tree fertilizer and a hug.
We move through each day, rarely stopping to think about just how much trees provide for us. What would we miss in a world without trees? Clean water. America’s drinking water comes from forests! Trees help absorb the sounds of traffic and have a cooling effect on neighborhoods. Many medications like aspirin and cough syrup and also ingredients in toothpaste and shaving cream come from trees.
Without trees we wouldn’t have fruit, chocolate, nuts or ice cream! The tires on your care are made from the sap of the rubber tree. These are some raw material we would miss.