A real estate agent said to me, “Landscaping adds nothing to the asking price. It’s like water…folks don’t care how deep the well is, they just want water.”

What do you think? Is there value to mature trees? Are you old or wise enough to comprehend how slowly trees grow? Some only inches a year. And the statistical odds of surviving 6 or longer years is as bad as coming down with a zooneses type illness.

In Bozeman we have an on-going debate: Should state or national land / park be allowed to burn? At what point do you contain it? How do you react to those who insist on building in the midst of a tender box? It’s like talking to those who live on fault lines, or hillsides prone to mudslides, or land that can and should flood, or spots in which a hurricane or tornado is more likely to strike. It’s a dangerous world, and when trees are knocked out for whatever cause, it takes years as Montana is a tough climate, with tough soil and a very short season.

Trees to me, are beyond value. They are a rare commodity in Gallatin Valley, as priceless as river frontage. You find cottonwoods by creek and stream beds, and there are groves of aspens or nurtured evergreens, but the Valley itself is wind swept, and establishing trees is a task and expense with many setbacks.

I disagreed with the agent’s above mentioned opinion. We will all understand the rarity and splendor of mighty trees the moment we venture close and stop a moment to celebrate the tree.