#25DaysofTreeMemories

 In 25DaysofTreeMemories, Featured Trees, Newsletter, Uncategorized

Through our NeighborWoods program, members of our community have submitted thousands of tree memories over the course of many years. We wish we could share all 6,000+ of them, but for now, we’ll share 25 and a few more from our staff. These memories are very special to us and we hope that you enjoy them over the course of December. Follow the hashtag #25DaysofTreeMemories on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

  • Tree Memory #1: My parents bought a house when I was 1 year old and planted trees just as tall as I was. I got to grow with these two trees and now they are 30 years old. I miss sitting on the porch spending time with them and meditating. I hope to have the same opportunity to give tree memories to my baby.

 

  • Tree Memory #2: As a kid, my mom was an avid gardener with vegetable and herb gardens in our backyard. Although our property had four larger trees on it, my mom had her sights set on planting one particular species – a redbud. When she had the opportunity to buy a redbud sapling she meticulously planned just the right spot and planted it in the ground. Each day she would go out and check on her tree. About two weeks after planting, my family was cleaning inside on the weekend and noticed that our dog was coming in the dog door backward (rump first). As the golden retriever wiggled herself about halfway through she began tugging something along with her. In came the dog and my mom’s redbud tree (roots and all). Our dog, very proud of bringing my mom her favorite tree, was not met with the same enthusiasm. My mom’s prize tree was now lying on the kitchen floor with a path of dirt streaking back to its perfectly planned destination. Once the household Defcon level returned to a normal state, my mom successfully replanted her tree and banned my dog from the area. My mom’s tree made it through, and my family gained a very entertaining story about one woman’s love for a tree – and her dog’s love for her.

 

  • Tree Memory #3: As a teenager, I bought 8 peach saplings for $2.00 at a nursery closeout sale. I planted, mulched, and watered them all summer. In 4 years, they started to fruit. By college, my mom would call to thank me for all the peaches.

 

  • Tree Memory #4: My favorite tree memories are playing dominos, moon, or 42 with my grandfather under our live oak when I was a child. We would occasionally look up and see a rat snake high in the limbs of the live oak, hear the wail of cicadas erupting from the canopy, or find the tiny, fragile nests of hummingbirds on drooping branches. All the while knowing that my grandfather had sat under the same tree in his own childhood.

 

  • Tree Memory #5: We had some large mulberry trees in our yard and at sunset, butterflies (mostly fritillaries) would land all over them where the sun made them warm. One day I climbed up and sat in the fork of the tree at sunset where the sun hit, and closed my eyes, and the butterflies landed all over me too! It was like magic. 🙂

 

  • Tree Memory #6: Some years ago, TreeFolks came out to the school where I was working and invited teachers and students to adopt trees on our campus. My kindergarten class loved taking care of our tree and they wanted to learn more about plants. We planted a garden as well.

 

  • Tree Memory #7: When I was about five years old, my family purchased a Dogwood tree. We always checked the tree growth on my birthday to see how much faster it grew than I did.

 

  • Tree Memory #8: When I was growing up, climbing trees was my favorite way to pass the time. I remember the feeling of exploration, the occasional sense of bravery, and having so much fun.

 

  • Tree Memory #9: There was a tree in my backyard when I was a little girl that I climbed almost every day. I talked to it too! We were friends. Now that I’m thinking about it, I miss that tree!

 

  • Tree Memory #10: Growing up on the farm many trees were my favorite, but I especially liked the Weeping Willow outside of my bedroom window. I loved the long branches swaying in the wind. The tree was so big that my brother built a treehouse in it. It was so majestic and beautiful.

 

  • Tree Memory #11: Growing up, my grandmother would send me to pick a few leaves from her Bay Laurel tree so that we could have hot tea. That was the best place to be – in her kitchen, drinking tea, and using the leaves from the tree in her front yard.

 

  • Tree Memory #12: When I was a little girl growing up in Maine, we had a swing set under a green apple tree. I remember one cool evening, as the sun was setting, I was swinging as high as I could. At that moment, the wind blew apple blossoms through the air.

 

  • Tree Memory #13: When I was seven my parents bought the property with nothing on it but trees. There was a very large Live Oak tree that had a perfect bent over the limb. My sister’s and I would sit up on that branch and read. We camped on that property for 30+ years and that tree is still there!

 

  • Tree Memory #14: My grandfather planted a seedling from one of his pecan trees in our front yard when I was about 10 years old. Together we named him “Petey Pecan.” A few days later, our neighbor (very kindly, but without letting us know) mowed our front yard and accidentally mowed over the tree! Fortunately, it grew back. It’s over 20 years old now and has grown into a beautiful tree that provides shade in a yard that previously had none.

 

  • Tree Memory #15: I have many tree memories, but I especially loved to climb. Growing up we played so many games in my favorite tree! Remembering brings tears to my eyes. Oh, how time has passed. I hope my kids will one day play on their favorite trees too.

 

  • Tree Memory #16: My kids love to climb and play around the oak in our backyard. They will also hug and thank our pecan tree for all the pecans it regularly gives us, and for the fun of having so many fallen leaves to play in. I did the same thing as a kid!

 

  • Tree Memory #17: My childhood home had many beautiful trees, but my favorite was a tall acorn tree. My sister and I always filled our little red wagon with all of the acorns that fell so we could play “acorn camp.” We shelled the acorns, left the kernels out for the squirrels, and saved the adorable little caps to make hats for our clothespin dolls.

 

  • Tree Memory #18: I remember playing in the forest behind my grandma’s house with my brother when we were growing up. We imagined whole worlds back there! The trees were castles, giants, pirate ships, and so much more.

 

  • Tree Memory #19: There was a vacant lot filled with huge eucalyptus trees near our home when I was a kid. We spent hours climbing the trees and building forts. I miss the smell and sound of those trees.

 

  • Tree Memory #20: In college, I went on an amazing camping trip into a forest in Arkansas. I felt so connected to the tree canopy I slept under that weekend, that when I got back I got a tattoo of a tree with people forming the roots.

 

  • Tree Memory #21: I loved playing make-believe in my weeping willow growing up! I used to pretend I was lost in a big forest or I was Pocahontas and the tree was my grandmother.

 

  • Tree Memory #22: My favorite memory includes playing kitchen at the base of a tree and using the leaves as “food” and tree twigs as “utensils.” I want my daughter to follow in my footsteps. I want her to explore the world around her and use her imagination while staying in touch with nature.

 

  • Tree Memory #23: In third grade, each child was given a baby tree to take home. My father helped me plant mine in the backyard. Over the next decade, it became a place for us to bond and reminisce about all the world changing around us.  My father later confessed that he never expected it to survive. It was a straggly little thing that had been dragged around the school and dragged home on the bus, but he helped me plant it anyway. It’s funny how tenacious that little tree turned out to be. Not only did it survive, but it was beautiful and fruitful and proliferated every year. That tree for me was symbolic of growth, life, and time. My father and I were saddened to have to leave it behind when my parents sold the home to move out to the country. It still holds a special place in my heart where many happy memories were made, and those I can keep forever.

 

  • Tree Memory #24: I remember spending countless hours jumping over a tiny tree my mom planted when I was young. The tree grew so fast I couldn’t jump over it anymore. It grew into a huge, beautiful tree in our yard that gave great shade to the front of the house. It is still alive and still beautiful after 55 years of growth!

 

  • Tree Memory #25: Growing up, my aunt had a chestnut tree. I have wonderful memories of gathering the chestnuts and helping her roast them during the holidays. The scent of roasted chestnuts still brings me back to my time with her.

 

  • Tree Memory from Ben: At sunrise in a light rain beneath an old ordained oak with our closest family around us, Hannah and I became wife and husband.

 

  • Tree Memory from Jess: When I was younger, my father and I used to sit by our front window and stare at the squirrels climbing up and down the oak tree outside of our house. My dad would tell me that the squirrels were my real family and that he adopted me from them because he loved me so much. I’m getting my first tattoo, of an acorn, on New Year’s Eve as a tribute to this memory.

 

  • Tree Memory from Anna: My dad used to quiz my sister and I as kids about tree identifications. He would point to a tree and say, “Girls what kind of tree is that?” back then I would roll my eyes and being from Oklahoma I learned to safely reply “oak” to make him stop. As an adult, I cherish the spark it unknowingly lit in me to be curious and think critically about my surroundings. Now I quiz him!

 

  • Tree Memory from Thaïs: I grew up on a farm that contained both pine uplands and cypress-tupelo bottomlands. Most of my time was spent in the trees; I would take off in the morning and tell my parents I was looking for a ‘new and interesting tree to climb’. I only got stuck a few times. I would tie a blanket into the treetops and read in that self-made hammock for hours.

 

  • Tree Memory from Sydnie: Most folks talk about an impactful tree from their childhood, my favorite tree memories have taken place recently. Working around trees has allowed me to meet such amazing, knowledgeable people. Every time I find myself working with folks planting trees I feel surrounded by all sorts of people who not only care for the earth, but for each other. I’m so lucky to be in this line of work and meet so many folks who care so much about trees, this earth, and all the humans who inhabit it.

 

  • Tree Memory from Collin: When I was very little my parents took my sister and me to Muir Woods in California. I remember how big the redwoods were most of all, but I also distinctly remember posing for every picture there as a “tree goblin” which entails using your sibling to stand behind you to make it seem like you have 6 limbs. I don’t think there’s a single normal picture from that entire trip.

 

  • Tree Memory from Ina: The first tree I ever climbed was a Pumarosa tree (Syzygium samarangense) from my childhood home in Venezuela. I got really good at climbing this tree because directly under it was a gigantic and poorly-managed compost heap and I was petrified of falling in it (it took up at least half of the space under the canopy). Every time one of the fruits would fall off the tree, hundreds, if not thousands, of cockroaches would scatter throughout the compost (the sound of which still haunts me to this day). Luckily that didn’t kill my love for climbing trees and I have virtually zero vertigo thanks to this tree!

 

  • Tree Memory from Valerie: In my early twenties, I did a lot of hiking and swimming on the greenbelt in Austin. There was a majestic Live Oak that caught my eye one day which seemed to emit special powers. I would instantly feel energized every time I passed and it was probably the first tree I ever literally “hugged”. Every time I visited that particular swimming hole, I’d make sure to visit the tree and hang out it one of its long flowing limbs. Years later, when I was maintaining trails, I had the pleasure of building a limestone bench underneath its canopy. I hope others enjoy it as much as I did!

 

  • Tree Memory from Kayla: When I was studying in Costa Rica, one of the sights that was really moving and meaningful to me was looking up into the forest canopy and seeing that the trees had grown very close to each other but didn’t touch. They had a little gap between their branches and fit together like puzzle pieces. It was as if they were purposely leaving room for one another. The way that nature works is amazing and beautiful and, for me, trees are one of the best examples of how it all works in concert.

 

  • Tree Memory from Emma: My grandfather was a high school science teacher and during his time off he started a small tree farm that he planted with 6 aunts and uncles. The tree farm was a special place that brought together the whole family during the holidays to sell Christmas trees and wreaths. As a child, some of my best memories are running through the fields and climbing the bigger pine trees with my cousins.

 

  • Tree Memory from Gillian: Fall was always my favorite time of year growing up, I loved going back to school, I loved the cooler weather, and I loved jumping in piles of leaves every chance I got. I was at a gas station a few years ago while on a road trip and a smelled a familiar smell that brought me straight back to my childhood: there was a sycamore tree filling the parking lot with wonderful dry crunchy leaves, and I went around stomping them and laughing with joy.

 

  • Tree Memory from Isaac: We had a small “forest” between my childhood backyard and the parking lot of the dentist’s office next door. My favorite tree in the forest was a mulberry. My neighbor and I would play make-believe games in and around its branches. It was always an extra treat when the mulberries were ready to eat 🙂

 

  • Tree Memory from Tori: Growing up in Wimberley there wasn’t much to do in the scorching summers except go swimming. Some of my favorite memories include climbing the huge trees along the banks of the rivers and jumping out into the water. There truly was nothing like hanging out under the shade of the trees by the water and laughing with friends. I’m so grateful and proud of the reforestation work that TreeFolks does along the banks of the rivers that I once called home.

 

  • Tree Memory from Carolyn: Making homemade painted puzzles with my Grandma made out of Wyoming Ponderosa Pine bark (which happens to be very puzzle-like).