Trees in Our Lives Tell a Story

Trees in Our Lives Tell a Story
February 28, 2018
Carrie T. Stevenson

To view this Weekly Message with additional photos, please visit:

We welcome Carrie Stevenson as a contributing writer for Carrie has been directly involved with the success of the Nature Trail Project every step of the way from the beginning. As an Escambia County Extension Agent, she is active in leading a variety of Environmental Education Programs to students of all ages. When the PBUMC Pre-school needed help to build Bat Houses for the Nature Trail, she provided the plans for the Grumpy Old Men who built and installed them. Thank you Carrie, not only for your Weekly Message below but also for all you do in our community. Staff

But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.   Jeremiah 17:7-8

Do you have a favorite tree? Often, the trees in our lives tell a story.

One of the selling points when we bought our house 14 years ago was the tall, healthy Southern magnolia in the front yard. It was beautiful, and I could see it out my front window. A perfect shade tree, I could envision a swing hanging from its branches one day. Within six months of moving into the house, Hurricane Ivan struck. A neighbor’s tree fell and sheared off a quarter of the branches from our beloved magnolia. We were lucky to have minimal damage otherwise, and hoped the tree would survive.

The branches and leaves eventually filled in, and we added that swing I had imagined. One day I was pushing my daughter in the swing, when a car slowed on our street and stopped at our mailbox. A man stepped out and asked, “Are you enjoying that tree?” I responded that we very much were, and with a smile, he explained that his family built our house and that he planted that very magnolia tree 40 years before, when his son was born. He was so happy to see us enjoying the tree that he could not help but stop.

I was so grateful to hear that story and know that our family’s favorite tree held such special meaning. Our enjoyment existed because of the delightful celebration of a new birth. That is why we plant trees. For the benefit of those yet unborn, to commemorate special moments, and to provide the very oxygen we breathe. As the Greek proverb goes, “Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”

January 19 was Florida’s Arbor Day; a time to celebrate the many benefits of trees, and the day is often celebrated by planting new trees. Winter is the best time of year to plant trees, as they are able to establish roots without competing with the energy needs of new branches and leaves that come along in springtime.
“The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” –Anonymous

Carrie T. Stevenson
Coastal Sustainability Agent III
UF IFAS Extension, Escambia County


He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers. Psalm 1:3

2 thoughts on “Trees in Our Lives Tell a Story

  1. thewayperdido says:

    Carries wonderful words of her families “favorite tree” this week has inspired us to ask our readers and subscribers to share “your story” of how plants and trees have played a role in your life. We all have plants that become members of our families, passed onto us from family, friends, and neighbors. Each Pass-along Plant provides a connection with a living thing that continues to speak to us over the years. If you would like to send us your story, we would love to hear from you. Send to

    Thank you in advance. Staff


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