This weekend there are several communities participating in tree plantings. Some of the beneficial uses of having trees are:
Help manage storm water ♦ Provide shade & cooling for lower energy costs/use ♦ Lower stress in people ♦ Absorb carbon dioxide to clean the air ♦ Decrease soil erosion to help keep water supplies pure ♦ Add beauty and an inviting space for young and old to enjoy ♦ Insure biological diversity ♦ Increase property value ♦ Provide habitat for songbirds and other wildlife [from RBG website for tree planting festival]
These stamps were issued in 1994 at the domestic rate of .43¢ Designed by Dennis Noble, some artistic licence has been made in order to make the trees stand out since most of these maples would not be seen growing in isolation.
The Red Maple is the most common and widespread of the deciduous trees in eastern North America from Northern Ontario/Minnesota to Newfoundland and down to Florida and Texas. It can reach a height of 49' with roots as much as 82' long and everything from its flowers, petioles (the stalk of the leaf that attaches the blade to the stem), twigs and seeds are all red. And, of course, there is that brilliant scarlet red of the autumn leaves. It is mostly an ornamental tree and because it can withstand a wide variety of harsh conditions it is excellent for use in urban settings.
Whereas the red maple is a softwood tree and not best suited for maple syrup or lumber, the Sugar Maple is a hardwood tree native to the northeastern part of North America from Nova Scotia to Southern Ontario down to Georgia and Texas. It can reach heights of well over 80'. It can grow in almost any kind of soil and is also among the most shade tolerant of the large deciduous trees. It is also a very prolific seed producer and also engages in something called hydraulic lift, or redistribution, where the roots draw water from lower moist soil and redistributes it to upper drier soil which benefits not only the tree itself, but the other plants that grow nearby.
However, the sugar maple is is not salt tolerant and as a result of the increased use of salt as a de-icer on our roads, it is declining in many areas and, especially in urban areas is being displaced by the Norway Maple.
This tree is an invasive species from eastern and central Europe. It has become a favourite street tree because of its tolerance for poor and compact soil and for pollution. Purists do not like that this tree has become so prevalent partly because nothing will grow beneath its canopy as the roots grow close to the soil surface and starve other plants of moisture.
Although a stylized [sugar] maple leaf appears on our flag, no maple trees actually grow beyond the rockies, so it is not a truly national tree. This point irks many out in BC and Yukon.