As September winds down, Missoulians are reveling in the colorful days of fall. Our deciduous leaves turn red or golden and the larch on the hillsides begin to brighten, first light green then yellow. Who doesn't love the trees that have grown around us? Why not add another seedling to the mix? Or two?
Fall is an excellent time to buy and plant a local native tree or fruit tree. Roots have time to establish in these favorable conditions, allowing for a stronger tree through the stresses of the following summer. Climate Smart has tips of which species make sense and what to consider when planting around your home. We're making it easy to get digging.
Of course many of us live where we cannot plant our own private trees. Luckily there's an opportunity to volunteer to plant community trees during the next 8 days. It’s an awesome opportunity to help grow our urban forest – from now through October 5 (most days) you can work with Trees for Missoula and help plant trees that have been growing in these crazy gravel beds at our wastewater treatment plant. It’s time to give them a real home along 3rd street. We’ve got all the details here. Hope you can join the fun.
Trees and shrubs in the Missoula area help us adapt to climate change, providing oodles of benefits:
They lower surface and air temperatures by providing shade as well as through evapotranspiration. Did you know that shaded surfaces may be 20–45°F cooler than the peak temperatures of unshaded areas?
Trees and shrubs also filter pollutants from the atmosphere, reduce energy bills, increase property value, and provide habitat for birds and critters to co-exist with us in our city in the forest. Planting trees, shrubs or even vines to the west and south are typically most effective for cooling a home or business, especially if they shade windows and part of the building’s roof.
Like apples or pears or apricots? Consider a fruit tree (please be Bear Aware if you live in black bear zones - you may need an electric fence).
Think how happy Missoulians will be 20 years from now as the soak up some shade, press some fresh cider, and enjoy another stunning autumn day, brought to them by you! A way to pay it forward?
P.S. After penning this blog, we found this from local writer Ari Levaux. We must have been channeling him! Climate Change Affects Trees, Growing Season.
P.S.S. This is a good week, given these warm temperatures, to water your trees so they head into winter healthy and happy.