#5Faves: Crunchy Tree-Hugger Edition

Five Favorites

Despite the fact that I love the outdoors, no one would mistake me for a tree hugger. While I’ve become more and more “crunchy” over the years, I’ve never embraced the moniker “environmentalist,” for a variety of reasons.  I was, however, such an ant-litter Nazi, that when a Pennsylvania hotline existed to report littering, I made several calls detailing make, model, and license number of cars from which trash was thrown. But, I digress. In honor of the fact I’m finally reading Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite trees.


by Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.



Large, looming maple trees are the trees of my childhood. Two giant ones towered over my parents’  yard. The sturdy  limb of one held what we called a Tarzan swing, which enabled me to swing from the hillside far over the lawn. The maples are part of the tree line I can still visualize when I close my eyes – a line of tall treetops standing sentinel against the sky in view from my parents’ living room window. A local Maple Sugar Festival has endeared the maple tree to me as well.

Maple Tree

Maple Tree


Eastern Redbud

These trees, native to Pennsylvania, bring joy to me each spring as I spy them along roadsides. I associate the sight of their purple blossoms with our engagement, the springtime we traveled the Pennsylvania Turnpike almost weekly.

Eastern Redbud

Eastern Redbud in bloom. Photo courtesy of Shenandoah National Park.


Weeping Willows, Mangroves, and the Like

I tend to be attracted to trees with long tentacle-like limbs, trunks, roots, and leaves. Hence my love for weeping willows, mangroves, and this tree I posed with multiple times on our honeymoon on St. John, USVI. Anyone know what kind of tree it might be?

Honeymoon Tree

“Honeymoon Tree”



I love the white, peeling bark of the birch tree. We planted a river birch in our backyard last year. Its bark started peeling this summer.

River Birch Tree

River Birch Tree

River Birch Bark

Peeling Bark!


Cherry, Pear Trees

I grew up around wild nut trees, but not fruit trees. When we bought our home, we inherited both a cherry and a pear tree. Both trees have produced abundant fruit over the years, so we’ve had the fun of harvesting and the mess of cleaning up. By necessity, I taught myself to can jellies and jams and bake a variety of pies.

Pear Tree

Our pear tree.


For more Five Favorites, visit Call Her Happy.

Which tree is your favorite? Why?

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2 thoughts on “#5Faves: Crunchy Tree-Hugger Edition

  1. Favorite tree: Smoketree!
    Okay, it’s not often I get to share this and still be on topic!!! I only remember having to memorize one poem in grade school. Here it is!

    Trees by Harry Behn
    Trees are the kindest things I know,
    They do no harm, they simply grow
    And spread a shade for sleepy cows,
    And gather birds among their boughs.

    They give us fruit in leaves above,
    And wood to make our houses of,
    And leaves to burn on Halloween
    And in the Spring new buds of green.

    They are first when day’s begun
    To touch the beams of morning sun,
    They are the last to hold the light
    When evening changes into night.

    And when a moon floats on the sky
    They hum a drowsy lullaby
    Of sleepy children long ago…
    Trees are the kindest things I know.

    • That’s great! (Still looking for an opportunity to recite the beginning of Virigil’s Aeneid in Latin. – which I learned MUCH later.) It’s funny how those things we memorize early on stick with us! Reminds me I need to to get my kids memorizing a couple psalms and a poem or two!

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