Saturday, September 16, 2000

Living trees make wonderful gifts and memorials

By Peg St. Clair
Enquirer contributor

        These days of September remind me of my father, John Greenleaf. He died Sept. 25, five years ago. My dad found his earth connection on the golf course. Totally smitten with golf, he played the game whenever he had the opportunity. From the time he began as a caddy in upstate New York, he continued to enjoy the game even into his last days. Blind and unable to stay steady on his feet, he rode with Mom in a golf cart, inquiring about each of her shots. He hoped there would be a golf course in heaven.

        My mother had a tree planted in his memory at Clovernook Country Club, where he was a member for more than 40 years and she was club champion. The tree is an appropriate living memorial to a man named Greenleaf.

  • Natorp's annual Wholesale Nursery Outlet Sale, with more than 25,000 shrubs, trees, evergreens and perennials, will be today and Sunday and Sept. 22-24 at 8601 Snider Road in Mason. Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. 398-4769.
  • A class on the “10 Best Trees for Cincinnati” will be 6:30-9 p.m. Oct. 3 at Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum. Fee: $19. Register by calling Communiversity at 556-6932 and press 3.

        Michelle Mann, who calls Sharon Woods a sanctuary, wanted to give the same kind of gift to a friend whose mother had recently died. In lieu of flowers, she decided to give a gift that would last a lifetime and have a positive impact on the environment. She researched the process of having a plaque made for a Japanese maple.

        When friends and family admired her gift, Ms. Mann wondered if she could help others in their quest for a memorial tree and plaque.

        A clothing designer by trade, Ms. Mann worked for a New York company, but she started thinking about a home-based business that would keep her closer to her husband, who works in Cincinnati.

        Tree m2e was born. Indoor and outdoor varieties of trees, all in the 3-foot range, are offered by the company. Ficus bush, parlor palm and braided ficus are choices for the indoor gardener. Japanese red maple, royal star magnolia, white dogwood and evergreens are readily available for use out of doors. Other types of trees also may also be obtained.

        A 6-inch-square black slate plaque can be personalized with up to 45 characters. A brushed stainless steel stand is included along with a decorative box, ribbon, card and simple care instructions.

        Ms. Mann donates a percentage of her sales to the Make a Wish Foundation, a group that grants the wishes of terminally ill children.

        Customers have purchased trees for weddings, christenings and birthdays. They also are popular gift items at Easter and Christmas.

        As I read about plans to remove thousands of trees from our national forests to prevent forest fires, I am relieved to know about Michelle Mann's eagerness to share the gift of planting new trees.

        Tree m2e packages range $59.95-$69.95. Personalized plaque and stand only $34.95. Information: 779-6277;
       For a complete list of local classes, workshops or gardening events, subscribe to Gardener's Network, a 28-page publication for Tristategardeners. 542-2466; e-mail

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