It’s time to fall into some family fun

Dig This

Today’s column speaks to families with children, but the activities can be experienced by adults too.

Fall is the perfect time to make a lasting family memory by planting a tree. Local nurseries often have trees on sale this time of year. Select a tree for your family to plant as a living legacy. Varieties of every shape, size and feature abound. Nursery staff can offer tips and advice on what tree would be best for your garden’s environment. If your garden is limited on space or your neighborhood has view restrictions you’ll still find many choices.

You’ll want to choose between an evergreen or deciduous tree. Fall is the perfect time to see the fall colors on trees that lose their leaves. You might find just the right colors for your own garden.

Even if you don’t have any room for a tree, your family can still enjoy and celebrate trees. Raab Park on Caldart Street in Poulsbo has a large collection of trees, both evergreen and deciduous. You’ll also gain a sense of how tall some trees can really grow. Stop off during the day at Poulsbo Parks and Recreation on Front Street to pick up a map with the name and location of each of the trees at Raab Park. The Poulsbo Tree Board also has a brochure available at the Parks and Recreation office with tips on planting trees along with a list of suggested trees to plant in your gardens.

Take a picnic lunch along on your visit to Raab Park. Bring white or light colored paper or even paper bags and a supply of color crayons or chalk. Your children will love to do tree bark rubbings. Hold the paper against the bark of a tree and then rub hard on the paper with the crayon or chalk. You’ll see the textures and details of the tree bark emerge on the page.

Sometimes if you lean your ear against the tree and it’s a quiet day, you’ll be able to hear the “heartbeat” of the tree. It isn’t really a heartbeat but it is the tree’s circulation process. You’ll hear the water being taken up through the tree’s inner cells. If you know someone with a stethoscope you can hear it even better.

That stethoscope idea is from a booklet published several years ago by the University of Washington Arboretum. Several years ago at the Raab Park Youth Garden we purchased two stethoscopes for about $18 each from Farrell’s Pharmacy Supply and the children at the park were able to listen to the inner workings of the trees. Some people would call it “listening to the sap running.”

If you don’t have room or have run out of room for planting a tree visit – your family can make a monetary donation for a family in another part of the world to receive a fruit tree to plant to feed their family and/or community. This Web site also provides a wealth of information on activities and events.

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