The spruce in this photo was given to me by a neighbor who worked for a large nursery in St. Charles. I planted it 27 years ago, hoping it would flourish; it was the first tree I ever planted. Fortunately, it took well to the rich river-bottom soil of the area.
There is a saying that goes, "Plant a tree whose shade you'll never sit under." I planted this evergreen when I was young enough that I will be able to enjoy its shade for years to come. As an added bonus, my mother-in-law uses the lower branches every year to make a Christmas wreath or spray.
I work at The Morton Arboretum, which has helped me better appreciate the wonder of trees. I hope to plant many more in my lifetime.