Celebrating Trees


The first Arbor Day celebration was held in Nebraska on April 10, 1872. Now countries all over the world observe a day in April to plant and care for trees.

I drew some coloring pages for The Nature Conservancy to share with kids at last weekend’s Arbor Day event at the Yakima Arboretum. TNC has become more involved in the conservation and management of the diverse forest on the the east slopes of the Cascades. The forest communities vary with elevation and distance from the maritime climate on the crest. I drew low elevation ponderosa pine forest, mid-elevation mixed conifer forest, and high elevation subalpine forest. At first I was daunted by the notion of fitting an ecological community in an 8.5″ X 11″ format, but decided to just capture the highlights. It was fun to draw, remembering places and adventures in the woods. (You can click on the drawing for a larger view.)

Arbor Day is for all kinds of trees, but I confess I am partial to the native ones. Also heirloom fruit trees. What about you?

6 thoughts on “Celebrating Trees

  1. It’s been a windy few days and I’ve been watching the tall redwoods in my yard sway in the wind and wondering how something can grow so tall land thin. These trees are magnificent and yet I remain partial to trees I associate with New England — especially sugar maples and birches.

  2. Your trees are magnificent. I don’t really draw and find that the details can send me into overwhelm. Love what you did to/with the trees–enough detail to pull us in but not so much as to choke you!

  3. Hi Deb,
    Tamaracks or Western Larches are my favorite. I love the way they grow a little bit funky and unpredictably. When I was a kid I would go fencing or irrigating with my dad and there was a stand of young tamaracks about eight or ten feet tall. Just right for a pretend fairy forest.

    1. Robin, I love larches too–the foliage, the bark everything. Thanks for the story of the pretend fairy forest!

  4. Happy Arbor Day Deb- and thanks for your kid friendly contribution. Yesterday I drove past the Orondo School, which always makes me think of my friend Sandy Beardsley, who did a whole year curriculum on “Forests of Washington”. I was there to talk about wilderness and subalpine ecosystems, but I was so gifted by the enthusiasm of her students who had turned their classroom into three dimensional depictions of Washington State forests. Sandy is gone now, but her legacy lives on in the lives of those kids.

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