This I Believe

Charles - Munfordville, Kentucky
Entered on March 12, 2009
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: nature
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

This I Believe

I believe in planting trees. I began planting trees in the Spring of 1962, as a boy in the hills of Hart County, Kentucky. Every year since, I have planted trees. In some years, I have planted only ten trees. In other years, I have planted over 10,000. When college friends went to the beach for Spring Break, I came home and planted trees. In later years, when other lawyers went to golf courses on Spring afternoons, I went to the farm and planted trees.

Since 1962, I have successfully introduced 39 new species of trees to my Tree Farm, which is registered with the American Tree Farm System.

On April 16, 1976, I began a tradition of planting trees on each Good Friday. I have planted Chinese Chestnut, Peaches, Apples, Pears, Bald Cypress, Redbud, Dogwood, but mostly Christmas trees.

My minister enjoys the symbolism of planting Christmas trees on Good Friday.

By my count, I have planted well over 100,000 trees in my life- time, one at a time. As a tree farmer of the American Tree Farm System, I am proud of that. On this Good Friday, I will close the office as I have for 30 years, and plant trees for this 34th Good Friday in a row. My friend, from Lexington distributes a bumper sticker that reads, “Got Oxygen? Thank a Tree.” I was 40 years into planting trees before I discovered the term “carbon sequestration.” That is a good reason to plant trees, but that is not the reason I plant trees. I plant trees for the same reason that I raise Old English Sheepdog puppies: to watch them grow through the seasons. Spring is the season I enjoy most. Good trees to you and Happy Easter.