The Sideways Tree

This new pathway in Central Park was cut to go around a tree that grew sideways across an old pathway.

Just as each person is unique, so is each tree. Most trees grow straight up toward the sky. But some trees grow sideways. What should we do if a tree grows sideways across a pathway? Should we cut down the tree? Or should we let the tree grow as it wants to grow?

In Central Park, New York City, there is a very old tree that grows sideways. Over many years, the tree began to grow across a pathway. The people who care for the park didn’t want to cut down the old tree. They respected the tree. So, they decided to build a new pathway. The new pathway goes around the old tree. This lets the tree continue to grow as it wants to grow.

Why should we care about trees? Trees are very important. Trees are a home for birds and insects. Trees can grow fruit and nuts for people and animals to eat. Trees provide cool shade on hot, sunny days. Trees help keep cities cool. They help to cool our warming planet. Trees help us stay healthy. They release oxygen into the air we breathe every day. Trees are beautiful. They make us happy.

May 16 is National Love a Tree Day. One way we can celebrate is to thank the trees for everything they do. Maybe you can plant a new tree in your neighborhood!

What Do You Think? If you could thank a tree, what would you say?

Photo Credit: McGraw Hill