Simple As One, Two, Tree
I was lucky enough to grow up on a farm, in a yard with lots of trees. There had been existing bluffs of trees to begin with, but the majority of the 10 acre yard site was surrounded by trees that my grandparents and parents planted. There were beautiful layers of willows, maple, Colorado spruce, caragana, lilacs and many more. By the time I arrived on the scene in the mid seventies, the yard was completely enclosed – in fact you couldn’t really tell how windy it was, while you were in the yard. It wasn’t until a person left the shelter of the trees that they got the full brunt of a nasty wind. Our home was protected from cold winter winds, which are known for drawing heat from a home. I don’t know the exact “R” value (insulating factor) the trees provided, but I know it was easier to heat our house as a result.
Consequently, I am a big believer that if you are living on the prairies, trees are a necessity – both for function and beauty. We were first attracted to the land that is now Prairie View Properties, by the mature willows that frame the west border of the development. In fact, the area selected for the 14 lots in Phase I is well treed to the north, west and south. The area designated for Phase II is more wide open and so we have planted many hundreds of trees, preparing for the future. Just like the yard where I grew up, we have planted additional layers of trees around the east side of the development.
When selecting tree species, there are number of factors we consider, beginning with picking varieties that are known to grow well in our climate. In our case, we were particularly interested in establishing a fast growing wind break, and so selected hybrid poplars, which grow up to 6 feet per year! They will not only shield the area from wind, but will provide a quick “privacy screen” and protect the other slower-growing species we selected. (FYI: they say that poplars are a short lived species, but that’s in tree-terms – they generally last at least 40 years.) The second layer is a mixed “wildlife planting” meaning trees that provide berries or nesting branches for birds. This shorter row of trees will also add a layer of protection from the elements for the acreages in Phase II. Last, but not least, is an outside row of Colorado spruce, which will be slower growing, but longer lived than the poplars.
The tree rows will protect the acreage homes from the wind, plus these trees will also enclose the community trail that we have built between the spruce and berry shrubs. We are happy to say that the “prairie view” will be one that includes trees.