UGA GreenWay News

A Greener Way of Living, at Home and Abroad

Plant a tree in memory of your loved one

Today, September 1st is my parents’ wedding anniversary. This year they would have celebrated 60 years of marriage. Sadly, my Dad passed away earlier this year during the cold winter months. He is missed, but we do have lots of wonderful memories. One of my fondest memories is of Dad planting trees, just like his father did. Every year Dad planted trees. You would think after living in the same place for 54 years it must be like a forest! But alas, some of the trees died and some were accidentally mowed off by “kids gone wild” on a riding lawn mower.

Many of the trees Dad planted came from the mountains or down by the river. There were all different varieties. When I was growing up my brothers and I each had a tree of our own in the backyard, mine was a Blue Spruce. Eventually it grew to be a very large tree. In June 2012 a tornado swept through and took the tree out. Although tornadoes are not unusual in many parts of the U.S., they are rare in my home state.

The Blue Spruce we planted when I was a child.

The Blue Spruce we planted when I was a child.

It was very fitting that my work colleagues donated a tree to be planted in memory of my Dad.  What greater way is there to remember someone than through a living thing, like a tree.  It is a symbol of life that continues to grow. It is tall and sturdy. It absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen. Did you know that one large tree can supply enough oxygen for four people?  There are many benefits to planting trees. Equally as important, every time you see the tree it can bring back memories of the person who passed away.  A beautiful Sugar Maple tree now stands where the old Blue Spruce once stood proud and tall.  The death of a loved one is difficult. For my family, the Sugar Maple is a wonderful reminder of my Dad and the many trees he planted during his lifetime.

My Dad and I

Is there someone you can plant a tree for?

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About Pamela Turner

I am an Associate Professor and Extension Housing & Environment Specialist at the University of Georgia. I have a passion for helping people improve their home environment and live greener and healthier lives. An important part of that is helping people weed through all of the information to find trustworthy sources. www.gafamilies.org/home

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