New Baby In The Family? Consider Planting A Tree To Celebrate!

Planting a tree to honor the birth of a child is an age-old custom in many cultures. Parents in ancient Israel planted a cedar when a boy was born and a cypress when a girl was born. In modern-day Bhutan, citizens planted 108,000 trees to celebrate the birth of their new prince. Planting a tree in your own yard is a great way to celebrate the birth of a child or grandchild—but what tree should you choose? Consider one of these ideas.

Plant a tree that has symbolic meaning.

If you have strong ties to a particular culture, you can investigate the traditional associations your culture attaches to different trees and choose one that resonates strongly with you. If you don't have any particular cultural ties, consider borrowing the symbolism given by Celtic lore. The ancient Celts attached a significant amount of meaning to each type of tree.

To celebrate the birth of a girl, consider planting a rowan tree, Rowan trees were planted near homes as a protection against evil enchantments, and their bright red berries give the tree a fiery look that caused the Celts to associate it with the goddess Brigit. To celebrate the birth of a boy, consider planting an oak tree. Oak trees are associated with prosperity, strength, and longevity. The oak was frequently associated with male deities, like Zeus and Thor.

Plant an evergreen for year-round beauty.

An evergreen can make a nice symbolic statement about the constant things in life. Evergreens are associated with the reminder that even when things look bleak in the middle of a frozen winter, there's still a steady current of life in the natural world. They also provide much-needed refuge to many small animals and birds. This might be the perfect tree for a child born in mid-winter.

If you like the metaphorical meanings you can take from that, consider planting a blue spruce (its unique color can really attract attention) or a Frasier fir, which are commonly used for Christmas trees. Around the holiday season, you could decorate either with outdoor ornaments to add a personal touch to your family's rituals.

Choose an ornamental if you're limited on space.

If you don't have a lot of yard space to spare, consider planting an ornamental tree to celebrate the child's birth. Small, beautiful trees like serviceberries and dogwoods have startlingly-beautiful blooms in the spring. They can serve as a reminder that children are treasures for the whole family to enjoy.

Not only is planting a tree to honor the birth of a child a beautiful tradition, there are ecological benefits as well. As your child or grandchild grows, his or her birth tree will begin generating oxygen and protecting the soil from erosion. It's estimated that over a 50-year timespan, a single tree can provide $62,000 worth of pollution control and recycle $37,500 worth of water—making a tree an investment into the child's future through the stability of the planet's ecosystem. If you need assistance picking the right tree (or planting it), talk to a tree installation service near you.

For more information, contact Frank Otte Nursery & Garden Center St. Matthews or a similar location.