Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Enigma of Trees

(Originally posted at Lemurian Mysteries in July this year.
Finally managed to get a photo last weekend, and the growth that continues is shown here...)

We saw today, toward the end of our walk in the Botanic Gardens, something that surprised us. It was an old cypress pine, one of the original ones from the mid nineteenth century, and its trunk was old and stiff. Yet its growth was still green. Last year in summer there had been a storm, knocking down some older trees whose roots had done their work, and since then new ones were planted amongst the many surviving ones. But this one was very old and had appeared to have found a mate.

In David Suzuki and Wayne Grady's latest book called simply "Tree", there are many facts that indicate trees in forests "commune", not just in groups, but communicate, in order to preserve the good of the whole. They share root space and nutrients, across large areas of land, for they know they protect the life that depends on them for survival, the birds, insects, animals and also the understory from the ravages of too much sun. Trees actually link through their root systems, swap nutrients, and grow to accommodate each other.

This old cypress had a brand new growth, and we wondered what it was. It curved its smooth trunk up close, from the earth, right up the knarly older trunk, as if it were a ballast. The top of it was green with fresh Moreton Bay Fig leaves, nestled in a cheek to cheek dance with the older tree, quarter way up its tall height. These trees share space with the Cypress Trees and have done so for over a century. It seemed a courteous arrangement for the younger shoot to oblige the older one, lending a hand to the trunk which we saw, on closer examination, had been damaged where a branch had broken off, perhaps from the summer storms. The tree had been in danger of falling over completely because of the missing branch.

Seemed to us this is what life is all about -- and the enigma of trees.

copyright Monika Roleff 2005.


At 3:18 AM, Blogger faucon of Sakin'el said...

You are preaching to the choir here ;-)

Now if people would quit sticking old folks into nursing homes and allow them to tell strories to grandchildren ...


At 3:32 AM, Blogger Imogen Crest said...

Exactly what I wanted to hear, thanks Faucon.


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