Love A Tree Day

Today, May 16th, is National Love a Tree Day. But what does that mean? Should you love a certain kind of tree, or just pick one? As I see it, you can do either. For me and today, I am just going to pick one tree. But not even my favorite. If you have read my blogs at all, you will know that the Kentucky Coffeetree is my favorite tree. And I do love them.

To love a tree, you need to be somewhat connected to them. Either through your job, or some past connection in your life where a tree meant something to you. For some people, that means a memory associated with a tree in the past. Such things might be from picking apples with a parent or friend. Or it could be a memory from an old tree at the home you grew up at. Or from planting a tree.

Love A Tree – Any Tree

What tree would be the tree you love? Maybe it is not even a kind of tree, just a tree in general. But I will pick a tree. What tree comes to my mind first? Besides the Kentucky Coffeetree, is the Bur Oak. I have a love affair with trees, but the bur oak is near the top of the list. Beside being an oak, I have a lot of memories surrounding a now 70 year old bur oak in Cloud County, KS.

To anyone who knows me, it should come as no surprise that I love a tree. I have been not only working with trees since high school, but I left the prairie for the woods over 20 years ago. I still love the prairie, but I could not be without trees.

The Bur Oak – A Tree I Love

My memories stem back to the bur oak tree on my grandparents’ farm in rural Cloud County. Under the shade of this tree I played with my “city” cousins; tag, fort, and cowboys versus Indians. And more. The tire swing hung from this tree until the early 2000s. I picked up acorns and huge oak leaves here. Now. when I still go to visit the farm, I look for galls on the leaves, hunt caterpillars in the tree, and just enjoy the memories it gave.

Besides the memories of that one bur oak tree, oaks provide many benefits to the landscape. The bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) is found native in 2/3 of Kansas, from east to west. But it has likely been planted in every county for its toughness. Oaks also host more species of butterflies and moths than any other tree in the United States. So if you could only love a tree, why not an oak? Or if you can only plant one, make it an oak.

the bur oak the author loves

Benefits of Oak Trees

Like I said, the oak provides homes for more species of butterflies and moths than any other tree genus. Also, the wood is good for furniture, flooring, and firewood. The acorns are valuable food for squirrels, deer, jays, and other animals. And the acorns of the white oak species are edible for humans. Besides leps, the oak provides nest sites for birds and food for many other insects including katydids, leafhoppers, treehoppers, and beetles. And do not forget about the gall wasps!

Oak trees come in a wide variety of sizes, from columnar forms to dwarf trees. They can grow in a wide array of soils, water requirements, and weather, depending on the species or cultivar you choose. More on the benefits of oak trees here: Benefits Of Oak Trees.

love a tree - benefits of oaks


Choosing to love a tree is an act of love, and should be encouraged. If you have made memories of a favorite tree, then share and promote those memories, and the tree. It is okay to be a tree hugger.

Happy planting!

author of love a tree

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