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Bradford Pears and Redwoods

The tree of choice in my suburb is the Bradford Pear tree. The city planners and home builders chose it because it is fast growing, colorful in the spring and fall, and has a full crown. Its primary problems are that it is good for about 15 to 30 years, and its long, vertical branches break more easily in storms. The Bradford Pear is a perennial, fast-growing, ornamental tree that line our suburb streets and sidewalks.

Then there is the Redwood trees of the Pacific Coast that can live over 2,000 years and grow to be over 200 ft. tall. These trees live in the rugged coast of the Pacific Northwest, and they can weather the torrential rains and wind that batter the coast each year. These massive trees are divided into "old growth" and "young growth" relative to their length of days. The Redwood is an evergreen, rugged, long-lasting tree that lives before and after you and I walk the earth.

I believe you can divide organizations into two types: Bradford Pears and Redwoods.

BP organizations plant for rapid growth, seasonal beauty and plan a 15 to 30 year existence before it is sold or goes out of business. These organizations turn out to be more ornamental than providing a core service to the community, and they are found in more populous areas. Storms often split or down them. They provide a service for a season, and many people appreciate what they do.

Redwood organizations are those who plant for longevity, strength, and reproduction. They can weather most any storm, and they will outlast those who plant them. Their seemingly slow growth and evergreen color do not intrigue the masses but the relatively few who see them or use their wood are struck by their strength and beauty.

I, like you, will contribute something to building a school, home, church or business today. We will have the choice to invest in what it takes to build a Redwood or a Bradford Pear organization. I'm choosing Redwood today. What about you?