Author Archives: Clair Skinner, HR Manager

Girl Scout Tree Badge

Every day I am thankful to drive into work and see Trees, but I am even more thankful to work for a company that gives back to our community. Fannin Tree Farm does a lot for the community, but I think my favorite thing I have been able to do, in giving back with Fannin, is working with Girl Scout Troop 6544 to get their tree badge. This group of girls are 12 now and have been together since 1st grade. They are what I hope our future is. Leaders that are strong, kind, knowledgeable, always learning, supporting each other and honestly making the world a better place.

To get a Girls Scout badge for Trees there are several things you must do:

  1. Try some tree fun
  2. Dig into the amazing science of trees
  3. Make a creative project starring trees
  4. Explore the connection between people and trees
  5. Help trees thrive

We worked in the classroom and on our tree lot to learn about trees, their uses, living green, how to identify them and how to create and make a field guide for scientific research.  We went out to our tree yard and worked on identifying trees by leaves, shape, bark and other identifying features. We also started their field guide books and they started their first pages.

I started the training saying, “When I’ve earned this badge, I’ll have gone to the root of what trees are all about and branched out as a naturalist.”  I hope that the knowledge they left with will keep them encouraged to help our environment, save trees and be advocates for our world’s nature as a naturalist.

I’ll leave you with a reminder of 10 reasons to be thankful for trees:

  1. Trees shade and cool
  2. Trees reduce stress
  3. Trees improve the soil
  4. Trees reduce violence
  5. Trees clean the air
  6. Trees increase property value
  7. Trees bring people together
  8. Trees reduce noise pollution
  9. Trees Support wildlife
  10. Trees enhance the view

If you looking for new trees, Fannin Tree Farm would be happy to show you around and help choose the perfect tree for you and your family.  Call one of our tree specialists at 972.747.9233.

Earth Day Blog

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” — Native American Proverb

Earth Day is an annual event created to celebrate the planet’s environment and raise public awareness about pollution. The day, marked on April 22, is observed worldwide with rallies, conferences, outdoor activities, and service projects. Earth Day is a time of the year to reflect on how your life impacts the planet. On this day, people think about new ways to reduce their carbon imprint and improve water quality.  They get together to get their hands dirty and make earnest strides towards making the Earth a better, and healthier, place to live. Earth Day is an important day for people to take time out of their busy lives to consider the impact that humanity has on the environment and for taking steps to minimize these impacts. As a result, we all can live happier and healthier lives in tune with nature.  While it would be nice if we all lived as if every day was Earth Day, this holiday serves as a friendly reminder each year, to respect the Earth and to show a little gratitude to Mother Nature.

Started as a grassroots movement, Earth Day created public support for the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and contributed to the passage of the Clean Air Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, the Endangered Species Act, and several other environmental laws. The idea for Earth Day was proposed by then-Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, who died in 2005.  The first Earth Day took place on April 22, 1970, a monumental day that is widely credited for launching the modern environmental movement. 20 million Americans from all walks of life participated in the very first Earth Day. Twenty years later, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage.

Earth Day is a time to reflect and be thankful for everything the Earth does for us. It is also a time to strengthen our relationship with nature, to give back, and to think of ways we can work to better support the Earth for future generations.  This year the theme for Earth Day is Protect Our Species. Nature’s gifts to our planet are the millions of species that we know and love, and many more that remain to be discovered. Unfortunately, human beings have irrevocably upset the balance of nature and, as a result, the world is facing the greatest rate of extinction since we lost the dinosaurs more than 60 million years ago. But unlike the fate of the dinosaurs, the rapid extinction of species in our world today is the result of human activity.

What can we do:

Here at Fannin, we are always looking for ways to lighten our carbon footprint.  We re-use all of our plastic container buckets for growing trees. Last year, we stopped buying plastic water bottles for our staff and gave everyone a Fannin Tree Farm bottle. We installed a water cooler that purifies the tap water.  We eliminated 100’s of plastic bottles a month.

Earth Day Activities for Kids

Kids are a lot of fun on Earth Day: they have a natural instinct for conservation and preservation, they like to get their hands dirty, and they love any kind of celebration. Planning Earth Day activities for kids is easy; you should start by asking kids what they would want to do to help the Earth. This brainstorming session will help you decide what sorts of things you and your kids can do to help the Earth. Here are some suggestions:

  • plant a tree or a group of trees to beautify your neighborhood, provide shelter and food for birds, and prevent soil erosion
  • have a recycling party where friends and neighbors gather recyclable materials and turn them in for prizes
  • gather a group of kids and clean up garbage at a local park, beach, or other public areas

I found this list that had some great ideas about other things we can do on Earth Day and every day to support a healthy earth.  https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/different-ways-to-celebrate-earth-day.php

Time Out in a Tree House

Get a tree-house ready trees are now available at Fannin Tree Farm in Frisco

As a kid, tree houses were so cool to me. A house in the trees with the birds, squirrels, butterflies and lightning bugs. A getaway from a stinky brother, a private place for a princess. Growing up in the country surrounded by big North Texas trees, I used to dream of a treetop tree house I could live in forever reign; who knew that not only would it become a possibility one day but a trendy way to live! In addition to kid tree houses, now there are adult tree houses–resorts that boasted about on TV where people build most over-the-top ones. I never dreamed that tree houses would become chic for kids and adults alike. In fact, some days I wish someone would send me to timeout in a tree house.

As I look out at all the trees on our Frisco Tree Farm sales lot, I can’t help but think about the majestic Live Oaks, Chinese Pistaches and Bur Oaks that someday may make a tree house come true for a little princess, a fierce pirate, or that grownup trying to escape the daily drudges of adulthood. It brings a smile to my face that one day someone might take up residence in one of our trees. Not only will the tree bring joy to them but they will provide years of special memories for a “no girls allowed” fort, a reading nook, a pirate hangout, a chic adults-only getaway or one of the many other things a tree house can be.

Take a look at some of the cool tree houses we have found. When you find a tree house you are ready for, let Fannin Tree Farm know. We can provide a tree house ready tree, or we can give a tree house tree for the kids or grandkids in years to come.


Katy Trail Ice House Tree Installation

 Fannin Tree Farms’ Live Oak Trees get a new home at the Katy Trail Ice House I recently read something about how we like certain seasons of the year based on the positive things we correlate to them. Whether it was going to football games, campfires or just spending time with friends, some of my best memories have taken place in the fall. I remember as the temperatures dropped, my friends and family could find a great patio and hang out.

That’s why the tree installation we did at Katy Trail Ice House over the last few weeks meant so much to me. They made renovations to their patio which also included Fannin installing 21 large Live Oak Trees. Brian Jeffries, our Commercial Sales Manager, and Large Tree Expert led the project, and it was the second time we’ve had an opportunity to work with the popular Dallas restaurant and beer garden.

When installing large trees, proper tree planting and installation is imperative to the growth and survival of your new trees. Our trained professionals’ follow the essential steps necessary to help your tree get the best start possible, ensuring that your new trees live a long and healthy life. We also work the new tree owners to help them understand all the steps that are needed to be followed during the first few months after the tree is planted to ensure proper health and growth of the tree.

Fannin Tree Farm has over 40 years of growing, transporting and installing large mature trees. We own all of our equipment, and our large tree installation crew chiefs have been working for us for more than 30 years.

Here are a few photos from the installation. If you are ever looking for a great patio to hang out on check out Katy Trail Ice House and enjoy some majestic Fannin Live Oak Trees, we grew from seedlings.

 

Texas Arbor Day

Fannin Tree Farm Celebrates Texas State Arbor Day

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. Not only is the weather cooling down, college football and tailgating is in full swing, but we also get to celebrate Texas State Arbor Day. The state holiday falls on the first Friday of November which is also an excellent opportunity to buy and plant your favorite shade or ornamental trees. You might be thinking, “Isn’t Arbor Day in April?” Yes, if you live in most of the country. Arbor Day was first celebrated in the United States on April 10, 1872, in Nebraska, and the idea of an official day for promoting and planting trees quickly spread throughout the country.

One hundred years after its first celebration, National Arbor Day was designated to be on the last Friday in April. The only problem with this is that many times (including this past National Arbor Day), North Texas can see temperatures well into the 80s with heat indexes into the 90s during late April. Although Fannin Tree Farm has a year-round 98% success rate planting trees, fall is generally a better time to establish trees. Cooler temperatures create more favorable conditions for a successful transition into the tree’s permanent home. This is why, in 2013, the state of Texas created “Texas State Arbor Day,” which falls on the first Friday of November.

Each year the official Texas State Arbor Day celebration is hosted in a different city and on National Arbor Day, the Texas A&M Forest Service announced that this year’s state celebration would be held in El Paso, Texas. “The idea is for everyone in Texas to take one day – the same day – to truly appreciate trees and plant one,” said Paul Johnson Texas A&M Forest Service urban and community forestry program coordinator. “Planting a tree leaves a legacy for future generations while beautifying the spaces where we live, work and play today.”

Here are some things you can do with your family, school or community for Texas State Arbor Day:

  • Celebrate by planting a tree
  • Take a class of students on a tree identification hike around campus or within your community
  • Plant trees on your school campus
  • Challenge schools within the local districts to create Tree Trails on their campuses
  • Have a contest for students to find the oldest trees in the community and research the history of the tree. For example, when the tree was ten years old, what was going on in your community, the nation, and or the world
  • Hold an essay contest where students describe the importance of trees to their community
  • Select unique trees to plant as a memorial or honorary trees
  • Invite a local arborist to give a tree-climbing demonstration
  • Ask an arborist or Tree Company to come out and give a talk on trees, how to maintain trees or other tree related topics for your school, community group, church or scouts group.
  • Take a Family walk at a local park and talk about the trees and what trees provide to our world.

Fannin Tree Farm would love to spend part of your Arbor Day with you, come out the 2nd to the 4th for our Texas Arbor Day Sale.  All of our trees will be on sale and select inventory up to 30% off. We will have Arbor Day Activity Books for the Kids, a food truck on Saturday and lots of great Texas Shade Trees to choose.

Sources:

https://www.dallasnews.com

http://texasforestservice.tamu.edu/arborday/

Fannin Fun Tree Facts

Tree Facts Are Fun!

I love fun facts about anything. You never know when they will come in handy at a party to break the ice, on a first date trying to impress, playing trivia on a cruise ship or just in everyday conversation. One of my favorite things about working at Fannin Tree Farm, other than the trees, is Mikey. Every day he has a new fact about trees to share, and believe you me, they have come in handy from time to time. I’m pretty sure my children and husband are over my fun tree fact finds but I wanted to share with our Fannin Fans some of my favorite tree facts.

  • There are 7.5 times more trees on earth than stars in the milky way.
  • An average size tree can provide enough wood to make 170,100 pencils!
  • The Amazon rainforest produces half the world’s oxygen supply.
  • Cricket bats are made out of a tree called Willow, and baseball bats are made out of wood from Hickory, Ash, Maple, and Bamboo trees.
  • Oak trees start producing acorns at 20-30 years of maturity!
  • Every Year in Washington DC The National Christmas Tree is put up and the walkway surrounding the National Christmas Tree features 56 state and territory trees decorated with handmade ornaments that are unique to each tree.

tree factsPathway of Peace, 2012 NPS/A.Garrison

  • Trees drink about 2,000 liters of water each year.
  • Pine trees are the only species in the whole world that spread seeds in cones, and those cones also have genders.
  • A tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide each year and can sequester 1 ton of carbon dioxide by the time it reaches 40 years old.
  • Trees lower air temperature by evaporating water in their leaves.
  • The different parts of a tree grow at various times throughout the year. Typically, most of the foliage growth happens in the spring, followed by trunk growth in the summer and root growth in the fall and winter.
  • Adding one tree to an open pasture can increase its bird biodiversity from almost zero species to as high as 80.
  • The world’s tallest living uncut decorated Christmas tree is a Douglas Fir. It is approximately 160 foot tall, lighted with over 50,000 LED lights and is located in Blue River, Oregon USA.

fun tree facts

  • Strategically planting trees and shrubs can save you up to 25 percent on your energy bills. Not only do they provide shade in the summer, but serve as a windbreak in the winter, too.
  • The Texas State Tree is the Pecan Tree
  • Our National Tree is the Oak Tree in the United States
  • There are approximately 25-30 million Real Christmas Trees sold in the U.S. every year.
  • Possibly the most colorful bark found on any tree in the world can be found in Hawaii, and it is referred to as the Rainbow Eucalyptus. Originating in the Philippines, the Mindanao gum tree in its natural habitat can grow up to 6 ft wide and over 250 ft tall. Outside of it, the tree only grows up to 125 ft.

tree trivia

Largest Tree in the US

General Sherman is a giant sequoia tree located in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park in the state of California. It stands 275 feet tall and is over 36 feet in diameter at the base. Sequoia trunks remain broad high up. Sixty feet above the base, the Sherman Tree is 17.5 feet in diameter.

facts about treesGeneral Sherman Tree at the north end of Giant Forest.

Summer Reading and Trees

If your kids are like mine they are excited to escape far from the confines of the classroom, working hard to forget almost everything they learned. At least you can help them avoid the dreaded brain dump this summer by keeping them reading all summer long. I’m already making plans for my kids for this summer and that includes a summer reading list that has many books about trees on it. Yes, I know I am partial to trees and I love trees. It is one of the reasons I work on a tree farm. There are some great books out there about trees for every age child.

One of my favorite quotes about reading is from Laura Bush, “As parents, the most important thing we can do is read to our children early and often. Reading is the path to success in school and life. When children learn to love books, they learn to love learning.” There are many benefits to reading to your kids. Some of those benefit include setting your children up to succeed, reading develops language skills, it exercising your child’s brain, enhances concentration, encourages a thirst for knowledge, a range of books teaches children about different topics (like trees), develops a child’s imagination and creativity, books are a form of entertainment and can be read anywhere ( like under a tree)and my most favorite reason why reading to child is so amazing, it helps create a bond. As a busy mom, it has always been a way for me to wind down with my son at night. I have always tried to remember, “Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” Emile Buchwald.

 

I asked some of our kids here at the Tree Farm whose parents work here, what some of their favorite tree books were and here are some of the answers I got. I think a lot of these books are great reads and I encourage you to read them with your kids.

  • The Lorax – Garrett, age 11
  • The Giving Tree – Chase, age 14
  • Chica Chica Boom Boom – Miles age 4
  • Go Dog Go – Natalie age 6
  • Winnie the Poo – Eve age 14
  • Secrets of the Apple Tree – Finley age 1
  • One Tree – River age 3
  • The Magic Maple Tree – Kaitlyn age 13
  • The Tree Lady – Grey age 12

I also love the idea of creating a Reading-Friendly Environment. Barnes and Noble explains, to keep kids reading, you need to remove as many barriers to reading as you can. That means having books at the ready for kids when they want one, and having a comfortable, quiet place where they can lose themselves in a book. As summer starts, you can work with them to create a little reading nook, with stacks of books and comfy pillows. You can also designate a night as a “screen free” night, in which everyone in the house (including you) must do an activity that doesn’t involve a screen. This took awhile for my kids to get use to but once we started the screen free activity night at our home, reading took off.

If you are looking for some great Tree book reading list, here are three places I recommend you go to find some great books to read.

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/kids/8-books-about-trees-for-arbor-day/
https://www.longleaflumber.com/the-top-15-childrens-books-about-trees/
https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Books-Childrens-Forest-Tree/zgbs/books/3270

Happy Reading…. Don’t forget the Tree Books….

Sources:

https://www2.ed.gov/parents/academic/help/reader/reader.pdf

https://bilingualkidspot.com/2017/10/19/benefits-importance-reading-young-children/

Remembrance and Celebration Trees

When I think about Trees, one of the things that fascinates me the most is their incredible potential for longevity. While there are a few short-lived trees, many of your “normal,” Texas native trees outlive the average person by fifty to a hundred years. And this doesn’t even consider the extraordinary, ancient trees that live a thousand years or more—in fact, some of the oldest living organisms on earth are trees. Knowing this, it makes sense that people in many cultures throughout history have been drawn to the planting of trees to mark significant occasions or cultural rite of passages in our lives, or to honor, celebrate, or remember a loved one.

I often find myself wondering what to give as a gift to celebrate milestones like a birthday, new birth or adoption, wedding, employee recognition, retirements and graduations. Planting trees on someone’s behalf is a great way to honor them – and since trees provide so many natural benefits, it is a gift that keeps on giving. Trees clean our air, absorbing harmful carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. They help to clean water for the millions of Americans who depend on a tree every time they turn on their faucets.

When I lost my son, Richard Carol, I wanted something that would continue to grow and bloom every season that was in memory of him and to commemorate his short life. I found myself drawn to a memorial tree for him as a meaningful way to remember and honor him. I did not realize it then, but I have been able to experience the joy of watching the tree grow and knowing it is in his memory for many years now and for many more to come.

When memorial trees are planted in honor of a person who has passed away, these memorial trees sometimes have plaques with the honoree’s name, birth and death dates, or a short motto. Fannin Tree Farm provides a certificate of remembrance on all of our memorial and celebration trees. Memorial trees can be planted with or without the person’s ashes. Some people may choose to select a tree in a park where groves of trees are planted in memoriam. Some families prefer to plant the tree on private property — at the family home or place of personal meaning. Wherever you choose to plant your memorial tree, the practice can be very healing as a life-affirming way to remember and honor a loved one, as it has for me.

Not only are trees a wonderful gift of celebration and remembrance but some people choose to plant a tree for other celebration and memorial events. Some plant trees for each of their children. Some plant a tree in honor of building or moving into a new home. Another wonderful idea that’s gained popularity is a wedding unity tree ceremony, where the bride and groom combine the soil from each of their homes into the pot of a single tree, then plant it in their new home in honor of their marriage. What a great symbol for a couple’s growing love. The traditional gift for the fifth anniversary is wood. The wood symbolizes a relationship that has become solid and long-lasting, representing the growing strength of the marriage bond. Still others find trees they plant to be the perfect lasting, living memorial to someone they have lost.

In honor of a parent who has passed away, one might plant an oak tree where, when it becomes older, they might visit to sit peacefully in its shade and feel connected to their loved one. After losing a pet that was part of the family for many years, planting a tree in their favorite spot in the yard is a good way to remember them. After all, they carved out a special place in our hearts and in our lives. These are just a few of the reasons people plant a celebration or memorial tree.

Fannin Tree Farm would love to help you commemorate a special occasion, celebration or loss in your life or your family’s life. Come in and talk to one of our tree specialists to learn more about the native trees we carry. Fannin has an assortment of tree sizes starting in 30-gallon containers to commemorate these celebration and memorial events in your life.

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