A few years back the Arbor Day Foundation used to hold a teen stewardship camp for 13-15 year olds at the Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City. The camp was a way of bringing teens together and sparking an interest in environmental stewardship.
One year we took tree inventory for Nebraska City. The kids loved it and it was a great way for them to be hands-on. In taking inventory of trees it’s important to know which trees are which. So to help identify silver maple trees, the kids came up with a song to the rhythm of Silver Bells that still rings in my head today. The song described how to identify a silver maple, and simplified the uncertainty that followed when a tree’s identity was in question.
The silver luster that shines off the bark and undersides of its leaves makes me think of those hours with the campers and the fun we had, making it my favorite tree.