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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - February 20, 2012

From: West Islip, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Planting, Trees
Title: Spot for communion and tree planting on Long Island
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I'm planning to combine my son's communion and a tree planting memorial for his uncle/godfather that passed on Valentine's Day. I'm looking for a venue on Long Island that can combine both on May 19th. I welcome suggestions and ideas. Thank you!

ANSWER:

Even though we answer questions on plants native to North America and get questions from all over the world, we believe that question is better answered locally. We suggest a venue for the communion first, a religious structure, etc. Then you can work with the responsible people at that location on where they would like to have a tree, and if if the space could be converted into a gathering place for family and friends to attend both ceremonies, perhaps the religious ceremony inside and the tree-planting outside on the grounds. It might be best to consult with a licensed arborist on what trees would work best in the soils and environment chosen, as well as offering you a selection of trees. That arborist would also be prepared to tell you where NOT to plant the tree, in terms of interfering with other landscaping, hardscape such as buildings, driveways and sidewalks where the growing roots could cause damage over time.

Finally, we urge you to choose a tree native to your location that is already enabled by centuries of experience to prosper in the temperatures, rainfall, sunlight and general climate. You will have commemorated the honoree with something that will provide oxygen for humanity, a storage place for carbon in the soil, and homes for wildlife. We like the idea very much. Here is a list of trees native to Suffolk County:

Carya alba (Mockernut hickory)

Carpinus caroliniana (American hornbeam)

Chamaecyparis thyoides (Atlantic white cedar)

Crataegus mollis (Downy hawthorn)

Fagus grandifolia (American beech)

Ilex opaca (American holly)

Larix laricina (Tamarack)

Liriodendron tulipifera (Tuliptree)

Ostrya virginiana (Eastern hop-hornbeam)

Picea pungens (Blue spruce)

Quercus alba (White oak)

Quercus macrocarpa (Bur oak)

 

From the Image Gallery


Mockernut hickory
Carya tomentosa

American hornbeam
Carpinus caroliniana

Atlantic white cedar
Chamaecyparis thyoides

Downy hawthorn
Crataegus mollis

American beech
Fagus grandifolia

American holly
Ilex opaca

Tamarack
Larix laricina

Tulip tree
Liriodendron tulipifera

Eastern hop-hornbeam
Ostrya virginiana

Blue spruce
Picea pungens

White oak
Quercus alba

Bur oak
Quercus macrocarpa

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