The Fish-Bait Tree by Gary D. Crawford
This month we depart from the usual to focus on a tree. Now, stay with me on this. Having become involved with trees through work with Phillips Wharf Environmental Center, I now find myself seeing trees through somewhat different eyes. Trees are everywhere (well, almost), many quite beautiful, rather fascinating, and certainly varied. Unfortunately, many are damaged and broken from vicious winds over the past several years. Replacing and expanding the tree population, especially the larger species that form the tree canopy, is important. We know this to be true for a variety of reasons—trees generate the oxygen we need, take in the carbon dioxide we produce, provide shade to lower the cost of cooling our buildings, help to retain soil, absorb runoff nutrients and excess water. And of course, so many are downright beautiful. A landscape without trees can be starkly beautiful, too, but it is not as welcoming. Trees seem to invite us to come among them. There is much discussion about the right trees to plant—which have “wet feet” (they prefer moist soil), which tolerate salt water and which
are drought-resistant, and which ones are less likely to become deer food. To guide residents, we developed a “Top Twenty Trees for Tilghman” booklet. (The list is applicable throughout the reading area of this fine magazine, of course, and copies are available. Just e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.) One tree I am particularly fond of because a fine old specimen was on our property until a windstorm
Catalpa tree near my house.