September 23 is an important day for tree lovers across Canada. This is a day to celebrate the natural beauty of our country and more specifically the critical role that trees play in improving our health and our lives. The benefits of trees are numerous and we often speak about their cooling effect, their ability to manage stormwater, their role in creating habitat for wildlife – all of which are important to our wellbeing. But the reason why most of us are drawn to trees, is because of their inherent beauty.

Trees have served as inspiration for many artists and have been the subject of countless paintings, including of course the Group of Seven. One simply has to search Tom Thompson’s name to see those beautiful jack pines or A.J. Casson’s white pines that are bent through years of constant wind. One of my favourite paintings is “Scorned as Timber Beloved of the Sky” by Emily Carr, a beautiful depiction of a lone tree rising toward the sky.

Trees are works of art in their own right, and National Tree Day is the perfect platform to showcase their splendor. On this day I encourage you to get outside, find a tree you love and draw it, photograph it or simply appreciate its unique magnificence.