If a tree falls

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
I tend to humanize non-human life forms and even inanimate objects – I still feel badly that we unceremoniously took our 15 year-old Intrepid to the scrap dealer last month, and after such faithful service.   So when it comes to trees, that are already a form of life … well beyond the crashing and thrashing of branches and the murderous impact, I think I might also hear a long and mournful, anguished cry. I think I may be a tree-hugger.
Trees are, of course, a renewable resource, but even without felling them for building materials or paper or sundry other products, trees work hard for us –

  • Trees renew our air supply by absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen.
  • One tree produces nearly 260 pounds of oxygen each year.
  • One acre of trees produces enough oxygen per year for 18 people.
  • One acre of trees removes up to 2.6 tons of carbon dioxide each year.
  • Shade trees can make buildings up to 20 degrees cooler in the summer.
  • Tree roots stabilize soil and prevent erosion.
  • Trees improve water quality by slowing and filtering rain water, and protecting aquifers and watersheds.
  • Trees provide food and shelter for wildlife.
  • Trees reduce noise pollution by acting as sound barriers.
  • In one year, an acre of trees can absorb as much carbon as is produced by a car driven up to 8700 miles.
  • Trees are the longest living organisms on earth.
    About 35 years ago my parents-in-law had some seedlings planted in the northwest corner of their property, what is now our property.  These are photos of our woods today  –  about 20 acres of white pine.  While it produces our oxygen and cleans our air and provides homes and forage for porcupines, rabbits, at least one fisher,  and cover for deer, it is also a place for our daily walks with doglet.

My husband maintains trails, and clears the deadfall (leaving some for the furried and feathered).  The deep blanket of needles is resilient and silent –  I feel at times as if I’m in a cathedral.

Jake’s Sunday Post is: Natural resources

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29 thoughts on “If a tree falls

    1. I remember how badly I felt when I heard all the limbs cracking, breaking and coming down after the Ice Storm (capitalized because it was brutal) that we survived in 1998. It was so sad and I lost a large part of one of my favourite trees in our side yard.

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  1. I also love trees very much. We have an old Christmas tree, over 30 years old, at the corner of the lounge, and we can decorate it with lights and baubles as we like,
    It finally broke through it’s pot, and fell over. Now it is in the ground, in the same spot. I ope it’ll be very happy!

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    1. These trees are my friends. Heaven knows they know enough of my secrets and thoughts (I talk to myself … out loud … and worse … I answer) – it is a good thing they are silent sentinels.

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    1. I’ve been looking forward to that first dusting of snow and when I threw back the curtains this morning, there it was. I don’t care – it’s always got a magical quality to it.

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    1. Not from seeds, Amy but from seedlings, very young, mere slips, of trees. And yes, a cathedral – sometimes it is totally silent back there without even the dee-dee-dee of a chickadee, and the light filters through at interesting angles producing beautiful shadows.

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        1. But my husband did plant a whirly-gig maple seed in the front yard – he calls it his Life Tree. It is now about 40 feet tall with a huge spread, and many, many, many leaves to fall in the fall. 😉

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    1. A rather nice legacy, isn’t it? After G started tending to it and creating trails he thought of taking his Mum back there to see it but, alas, it was too late – she not able to walk that terrain and that distance and not terribly interested at 80+ in donning a helmet and getting astride the ATV – she being a right proper (kindly said) British Lady that wasn’t too surprising. But unfortunate.

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    1. This is G’s enjoyment, he finds it gratifying I think. Doglet of course loves to follow the scents and run freely from here to there and back again, and I enjoy the nature and solitude of it and often think of my own Mum when back there – nature-lover and outdoors person that she was.

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