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For the Love of…Trees

Woodman, spare that tree!  Touch not a single bough!  In youth it sheltered me, and I’ll protect it now.  George P. Morris, Woodman, Spare That Tree

I, like countless others, am a tree lover.  Quite simply, trees feed my soul.

2016 Awardee – Sycamore on Horlick Dr., Racine

For the last 3 years I have been fortunate enough to spend a large amount of my personal time “out of the weeds and into the trees”.  I love the patterns tree branches draw against the white winter sky; tree trunks etched by newly fallen snow produces an ethereal beauty that the finest artists cannot mimic.  I love the shiny, florescent greens which fuzzy the tips of branches and blur our horizon in the spring, the hard-to-imagine-in-the-midst-of-winter explosion of countless hues of green in the summer, and of course, the jaw-dropping, breathtakingly poignant beauty of autumn foliage.

So, not surprisingly, several years ago when my husband pointed out a beautifully written article (author:  Kevin Nolan of Cassity Tree Service) honoring and lamenting the removal of a grandiose 200 year old Bur Oak, due solely to the whims of a new homeowner, I was brought to tears. Kevin’s homage to this superb Oak, his search for ordinances that would have helped to protect this living piece of history, this truly splendid gift of nature, proved fruitless; the Bur Oak was removed in 2014.

This moving article was a subject I pondered many times in the ensuing months.  How could a program be created that could enhance appreciation, respect and stewardship for trees?  What could, even for a small moment, inspire folks to look at trees with admiration, reverence and a sense of wonder of their magic, their majesty and the mystery of their ageless secrets silently soaring above our heads?

And the seed was sown.  Enter Trees We Love.  The title couldn’t be simpler.  Three short words to stand in for, in my opinion, the single most pondered, painted, photographed, thought about, talked about and beloved masterpiece of nature in the world.  Trees don’t shout out or beg to be noticed but these silent curators of history deserve to be put on pedestals, admired, appreciated and recognized; and that is exactly what Hoy Audubon Society’s Trees We Love program has set out to do.

In a nutshell, Trees We Love receives tree nominations from any and all;

2018 Honorable mention. 300+ year old Bur Oak, Braun Rd, Mt. Pleasant

stewards, admirers, young or old, whomever may have a favorite tree they would like to see receive formal recognition. We receive nominations, we site-visit such, we determine age, height and spread and we award trees.  All nominations receive arborist and committee site-visits and complimentary letters detailing species, measurements and approximate age.  Full awards receive bronze plaques, archival history detailing the site or history of the tree, a written narrative and a framed photo.

After 3 successful years of Trees We Love, I look forward to the new tales and the enchantment which we will see, read and discover when receiving the 2019 tree nominations.

There are certain trees that have an emotional effect on us, be it for their age, size, beauty, significance in our lives, or a combination of all this and more. For trees give our world and everything in it the breath of life, and yet they ask for nothing in return, other than, to simply be, a tree.

We are excited to learn that so many agree.

May Trees We Love continue to encourage and inspire folks to get out of the weeds and into the trees, to protect and appreciate our living history, and to perhaps ensure that these grand and noble trees live out their lives happily ever after.

If you would like to nominate a tree you love (deadline May 31st), please email Sue Schuit; or call 262-752-5955 or go to to download a nomination form.

To learn more about Hoy Audubon Society’s Trees We Love, all awardees, pictures and narratives, please visit

For, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see”.  – Henry D. Thoreau

Sue Schuit – Trees We Love, Hoy Audubon Society Conservation Chair/Treasurer