Every year my family plants well over 100 trees – some at our farm (we’re reclaiming a field that was cleared for haying many many years ago), more at Mom and Dad’s property north of Annan, more at our house in Kemble.

It’s a grand feeling, to pick up these wee treasures at the Grey Sauble Conservation Tree Sale:

The Farm's share for 2012: white cedar, tamarack, serviceberry, and six 8-foot red oak....

and then watch them grow.

Here’s where we started at the Kemble house, spring 2009:

The house next to us started to go up when we were three months into our own building project (they were done by Christmas that year - that's one of the differences between a stick-frame bungalo built by contractors & a self-build custom house). By 2009, they'd put up with all of our construction piles, trailers & machinery for 3 years. I brought these trees home from a box store in the spring, thinking we could do something to define the space between the two houses. We got some soil, and started planting.

My dad and my nephew, planting the first bewildered BC trees in 2009. We added smaller cedars later that spring....

...three springs later. This is the view from our property line.

We’re also planting maple in the bush surrounding our house, which is dominated by ash and elm. If the ash borer makes it up here, we’ll be feeling mighty exposed without other species on their way.

Every spring we have what we call the ‘tree walk’ – checking in on all the plantings from years before, noting their health and the passage of time.

This is one of the most satisfying annual tasks in my life – possibly the only one that will have true lasting value, if I place myself in the lasgest context I can imagine.

Happy Saturday.  I must now go to practise Shostakovitch and Prokofiev, in preparation for the concert tonight.  It will be a grand thing to be part of, too.