Gift Tree planting reminds us of the wisdom of trees and the people around us

By Emma Gray

Tender Planting
(Photo by Joanie Beldin)

Brisk temperatures didn’t keep planters from joining together on Sunday to celebrate the people in their lives by planting trees. At the first Gift Tree planting of the season,  volunteers who had purchased or received Gift Trees since March of last year planted at the Collins Sanctuary, a beautiful forest publicly held by Metro and managed by the Audubon Society of Portland.

The 450 trees planted on Sunday join over 2,000 trees already planted at the Collins Sanctuary since March of 2010 as a result of Friends of Trees’ partnership with Metro and Audubon.

During opening remarks by Jason Mann, the group was reminded of the powerful lessons we can learn from our relationship with nature and specifically trees.

Mann told us: “Trees grow in groups called stands. They do this so that when strong winds blow they don’t stand alone and get blown over. They form communities of support. From this we can learn the importance of forming communities of support and we are much stronger when we form true communities of support. These communities protect us all from the strong winds of hard times when they come. It is so much harder to deal with difficult things alone.”

Planting Girls
This group of friends came together with their parents to plant in memory of grandfathers & great-grandfathers. (Photo by Jodi Jacobs)

Sunday was a true example of  people coming together to honor and appreciate their communities of support. I heard stories of people who were planting in honor of birthdays and births. I heard stories of  people who were planting in honor of their wedding day and stories of others planting in honor of a wedding anniversary. Some people were planting in memory of  husbands, brothers, grandmothers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers, beloved companion animals, and many others. Every story was intimately personal for each person, and every story inspired me.

If you would like to join us at our March 25, 2012 Gift Tree planting, you can order a Gift Tree for yourself or anyone in your life.  It’s not too late to order Gift Trees for holiday gifts. Trees ordered before December 18 are guaranteed for Christmas delivery.

-Gray is Individual Donor Relations Specialist at Friends of Trees.