Itreest’s been a grievous year for trees. The Big Wind of 2020 destroyed more than 1,000 trees in Salt Lake City, leaving Mayor Erin Mendenhall with a deficit—her campaign promise was to plant 4,000 trees in Rose Park. Of course, the West altogether was deforested by fire this year. And trees are life for humans—they hold the earth together and create the air we breathe. This year, instead of buying a dead tree in honor of the holidays, buy a live one. Let it live in your home for a few weeks, then make it a gift, to the earth and to all of us.

If you don’t think buying a live tree is in your cards this holiday season, there’s still ways you can help support the trees. Tree Utah plants large trees in public spaces such as city parks and play grounds. You can help Tree Utah by volunteering to plant even more trees in communities across Utah.

Fun fact: Quaking Aspen is Utah’s state tree. Pando, an aspen grove in Sevier County, is the largest living thing on Earth—a metaphor for our time, because aspens grow in colonies, all connected by their root systems. But Pando is possibly dying from mule deer predation. Many landscape designers warn homeowners not to plant aspen because “they’ll take over” your yard. We can think of many worse fates than being surrounded by aspen trees.

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