In my last column I expressed my natural attraction to trees.
On our property we have a bald cypress tree, designated the Louisiana State Tree. And we have a Magnolia Tree. The Magnolia blossom is our state flower.
We also have two large Red Maple trees. These remind me everyday that my ancestors arrived in Louisiana from the Canadian Province of New Brunswick.
Canada’s flag features a Red Maple leaf, the country's national symbol. It became Canada's official flag in 1965.
Trees continue to grow as long as they live. A tree's leaves make food that keep the tree alive and help it grow. Where winters are cold, many trees lose their leaves in autumn. Other trees keep their leaves during winter and so they stay green all year long.
Trees that shed their leaves in autumn rest during the winter. In the spring they grow new leaves and flowers. The flowers grow into fruits, which contain seeds for making new trees.
Some tree fruits taste good such as apples, peaches, and oranges. Fruit growers raise large amounts of these fruits for sale. Trees also make new wood each year when the weather turns warmer.
Wood ranks as one of the most valuable parts of a tree. Mills and factories use wood to manufacture lumber, paper, and many other products.
Many trees have attractive flowers. Flowers are prized for their attractive shapes, gorgeous colors and delightful fragrance.
The Coconut Palm is a unique tree in many respects. It provides wood and other building materials. The tree's nut yields sweet tasting milk and meat. Oil from died coconut meat is used in making such products as margarine, soap and perfume.
(Now, that doesn't mean someone at a party will tell you you smell like a coconut.)
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.
Trees was written February 2, 1913 by Joyce Kilmer. Kilmer was born on December 6, 1886 in New Brunswick, N.J. and was killed at the second battle of the Marine in France in World War 1 on July 30, 1918. He was only 31 years old. He was buried in an American cemetery in France. A memorial mass was held at a cathedral in Manhattan on October 14, 1918.