Good Oak News

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Just wrote an angry letter to the Arbor Day Foundation:

Dear Arbor Day Foundation,

I recently received a mailer from your organization promising 10 free Colorado blue spruce along with membership. I live in Wisconsin, not Colorado, and blue spruce are not native here as they are in the Rocky Mountains.

Your organization claims to promote conservation and wildlife preservation, yet continues to push non-native trees for landscaping and "conservation" projects.  Your distribution of non-native trees ignores the critical need local wildlife have for native plants to provide the resources they need for survival.  For example native trees not only provide cover, they also provide fruit, seeds, and host to the local insect species which are the foundation of the diet of songbirds and other wildlife.

For example, you have a picture of an eastern bluebird on your mailer.  Eastern bluebirds favored habitat is oak savanna and open oak woodland.  How will Colorado blue spruce trees help reestablish this habitat type for the bluebirds?  In fact, the bird is landing at its nest hole, in what appears to be a bur oak, bringing to its young a caterpillar that was undoubtedly plucked off of an oak or other native tree.  Certainly ANY tree can provide SOME resources for wildlife, but native trees provide a considerably wider range of resources for our local wildlife.

Please do not contact me again until you can offer me hardy Wisconsin oaks, or other appropriate trees native to my region.

Frank Hassler
Good Oak Ecological Services