Ever since I can remember, my father, a former biology teacher, taught me to love the outdoors. In high school, I developed a love for trees. I can thank my former AP Biology teacher for that. Through college I took several botany and ecology courses and I have never stopped enjoying plants and the outdoors. Now as an AP Biology teacher I hope to instill that same love for plants and the outdoors that my mentors put into me. For the longest time I have never had a tree that I can pick as my favorite until I moved in with my wife. The house we live in was built by her grandparents and they planted two green ash trees in front. Approximately 25 years after those trees were planted, and a couple years after my wife and I were in the house, the infamous emerald ash borer entered the township en mass. Our two beautiful trees that shade our court were not spared from the wave of destruction. We had to cut down those trees in 2012 and the remnants of the trees have been lacquered and are a permanent display in my classrooms. That summer, my wife and I got married and as a gift from my in-laws, they allowed us to pick a tree to replace the two we lost. After much deliberation we chose this beautiful red maple. For six years it has thrived in our front yard and displays a beautiful cherry red and crimson color in fall. We add lights in the winter and it is often a backdrop to our family pictures. It is safe for me to say that I now have a favorite tree, and so does the rest of my family, the beautiful Acer rubrum!