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Plant a Tree

The following editorial was adapted from the April 25, 1925, edition of Suniland: The Magazine of Florida.

If you would do something that will provide in the future a monument to your thoughtfulness and wisdom and at the same time will be of value and benefit to others and further will be helpful in the progress and development of Florida—plant a tree and persuade others to do likewise.

So many people do not seem to appreciate the importance of an abundance of trees in a semi-tropical climate. In Florida it is very necessary that the planting and preservation of trees be encouraged and even insisted upon. Florida doesn’t have extremes of climate. It is never too hot or too cold. We do, however, have year-round sunshine—sunshine that is our greatest asset—sunshine that provides health and happiness—sunshine that is the principal factor in bringing so much wealth into Florida. But as everyone is well aware, if they will stop for a moment to consider, sunshine alone is very monotonous. We want its warmth and influence upon all things, but most of the time and in most places we want it indirectly. This is one of the reasons why shade trees in Florida are almost as important as is the sunshine.

There will be many regrets in time to come if more trees are not planted in Florida. Apparently trees are plentiful, but actually they are disappearing in greater quantities than they are being planted. This is caused principally through the cutting of trees for lumber or land development, but even in a number of the older and well established cities, rows of beautiful trees that have taken long years to develop are being destroyed to make room for wider streets, with no thought to their replacement. The wide street may be of more value than the trees that have graced its length for years, but sometimes it is possible to plant other trees farther back. In planning new cities or additions to cities, streets should be made wide enough so that trees can be grown undisturbed for all time.

Cities are springing up overnight. Subdivisions and big land developments are being planned with little thought of providing trees for future years. It takes but little observation in Florida to bring to mind just how valuable trees are. The cities that have been called beautiful are the ones that have plenty of trees along their streets and around their lakes and their homes. One is always impressed with the beauty of an avenue of trees. The sunshine that filters through the leaves that overhang some of our driveways is far more beautiful than the full force of its glare where trees have not been planted.

Those who are planning future cities and additions to cities in Florida will do well to consider the value of trees for shade and ornament. They enhance the value of the sunshine. They provide color and harmony and a pleasing eyeview in contrast to the drab monotony where trees are not found. Trees have a cash value that seems to have been lost sight of by so many real estate developers in Florida. For instance, a home is always more of a home with friendly trees around it. Most people will pay more for a home or a homesite with trees than for one without and would rather live in a city that allows its trees to grow with it.

From another angle, interest in tree planting in Florida should be awakened. This being forest conservation. Forests in Florida are being cut away without any practical system or attempt to replace them. Our forests will be a thing of the past in a few years unless some real effort is made soon to conserve part of them.


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