By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Plant an oak tree. That’s the easiest thing I can tell you to do if you want to celebrate Arbor Day or Earth Day, or just increase your home value and curb appeal, reduce energy bills, and help control flooding.

Oak trees aren’t just stately, shady, trees; planting an oak is one of the few things you can do today that can still be around for your great grandchildren to enjoy…or other people’s great grandchildren.

White oak (like the great white oak pictured here on the grounds of the Morris Arboretum), scarlet oak, chestnut oak, willow oak, swamp oak, pin oak – pick one! They come in lots of shapes and sizes, but no other plant welcomes as many birds to nest in your yard, because oaks are a nursery for more beautiful butterflies and moths than any other tree or shrub. Birds can’t feed their babies birdseed, they need to have nearby trees – like our native oaks – where they can find high-protein food for their little ones waiting back in the nest without leaving the babies unattended for very long.

So, plant an oak tree. And if you really don’t have room for an oak, plant a crabapple tree – they welcome loads of birds and butterflies too.

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