Trees, above all other plants, carry a mystique of wisdom and even patience. Jon and I live in an old area where neighbours value the individual trees which bear witness to the gardeners who came before us. Although the loss of ash trees has sadly scarred many areas, our pioneer street is so haphazard and varied that the canopy has remained intact, especially the back garden above The Credit. When I gaze out, the botany appears completely native, although I know there is still work to be done. For one, there need to be even more trees.
Scott, my soul-brother, gave me The Hidden Life of Trees for Christmas. I am no stranger to botanical literature but this recent publication knocked me out. I had always thought of saplings as mere competition for established trees. Not so — it appears that all of the individuals within a natural community communicate with one another in order to provide mutual aid. It is the “specimen” tree, the one planted alone in a yard and expected to strut its stuff, which is literally marooned on a desert island. Guilt-ridden, I have promised myself to leave arboreal volunteers alone in future.
Thought for today: Maybe witches lived in tangled woods because they had acquired botanical wisdom with old age.