OPINION | Grow a gift for the future

There's a long driveway into a property that I drive past several times a week.

It is nestled between rolling hills (mostly brown these days but sometimes green if we're lucky enough to get rain), and features a stretch of trees the length of the drive that are slowly turning lime green from the zingy yellow they were in early spring.

Right now a cluster of jacarandas growing beside them at the far end have blazed out in all their glowing glory.

The combination of colours is like a gift to the people flying past in their cars, and if I ever meet the owners I will thank them personally.

Though they probably can't take the credit. It's more likely the trees have been there for generations and the owners, just like me, are grateful for the thoughtfulness of their forebears.

If there's one thing you can do to pay forward a blessing to future residents, plant a tree.

I always put in a lemon tree if there isn't one already. Every house should have one.

And if your garden is bare, there's not much you can do to fix it instantly, but there's a way to pass on some kindness by putting in a sapling.

When I pass treeless yards and streets I can't help tutting to myself - it's such an avoidable tragedy.

They don't cost much, but they pay back in spades.

In so many ways, a tree is the most unselfish gift you can give.

You will not necessarily be able to sit under its shade one day yourself, unless you live in one place for a long time, I suppose.

But future generations will have the benefit of your generosity.

Of course, trees aren't just nice to look at.

As UK Guardian journalist George Monbiot has pointed out, "There is a magic machine that sucks carbon out of the air, costs very little, and builds itself. It's called a tree."

Before we re-invent the wheel to fix climate change, we could start by digging a hole and planting a tree.

All of us.