Tree of the Month: Backyard Trees

During these days of physical distancing, one way to calm anxieties is to get some fresh air by taking in the trees and shrubs in your own backyard. They will be budding soon, and some are already. For those lucky enough to have a yard, why not take a stroll around it and stop to appreciate the uniqueness and structure of each tree and shrub planted there. Take note of the bark colour and texture and the budding pattern. Soon you will be able to examine leaf shapes and colours. For those of you who don’t have a yard, a leisurely stroll around the neighbourhood can be invigorating –- of course, taking the proper physical distancing precautions is essential. Even sitting out on a balcony that overlooks some greenery can be very relaxing.

Although spring will bring with it the usual burst of colourful vegetation, the way we appreciate it this year might be a little different. Spring will continue to be the time for rebirth and renewal. All around us, birds, squirrels, and other animals will be busy having babies and raising their young. As you take in your surroundings, note the rich sounds and earthy smells of the outdoors. Installing a bird feeder near a window in your home will get you up close and personal to the birds living around you. Putting out fresh water (changed daily to prevent mosquitoes from breeding) will draw in small mammals as well as birds, depending on how high you install it — you could have two basins, one on the ground and one higher up.

While you are taking a stroll around your backyard or neighbourhood, or even just looking at your surroundings from your balcony, can you identify any trees or shrubs? We know it is harder when they have no leaves, but take a look at our past Tree of the Month articles to see if there are any you recognize!