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The Idea of a Tree

foto by tama66
sketch from "Nature is Always Talking" by Samuel J Alibrando

I admit there was something deeply therapeutic as a child to walk in the forest in Pinewood, New Jersey. I did it so often, I said I wanted to buy it, so my parents bought me a grey, metal safe. I always spent the money on other things, though. In that region we called it a "walk in the woods" and where I like to walk was then called “Seven Hills”. By now it's probably residential.

Trees are alive. In the past several decades zooming in on nature has taught me that everything that is alive needs to eat, it reproduces, it defends itself against its natural enemies or finds creative ways to avoid its enemy. Every living thing is ingeniously equipped to fulfill those three objectives; trees included.

Trees are much more active than I ever dreamed. For one thing, they communicate with each other. This was verified in the 1970’s by a scientist proving when one tree was attacked by insects, which the scientist provided, hundreds of yards away was another tree of the same species producing the same chemicals toxic to those insects even though it did not have any insects yet.

photo by Public Domain Pictures

That is how trees fight back; chemical warfare. The tree under attack warned the other tree and both responded appropriately. This has since been confirmed hundreds of times and to the surprise of scientists, we now know there is similar communication that occurs between different species. In fact, that is the fourth commonality of all living things: communication.

And the technology in trees is so overwhelming that mankind could build 1000 nuclear submarines much more easily than a single living tree, including any of the trees in your yard.

concept photo by PIRO4D

The exchange of needing carbon dioxide and having our precious oxygen as a tree waste product is not coincidence either. The beauty, the sophistication , the flowing interactive systems of life and timing is something so magnificent, we have yet to comprehend the scope of this infinite puzzle, but there is nothing in the world that should prevent us from celebrating the obvious power and beauty that is ours to enjoy.

Better yet, walk up to the tree, feel it, touch the leaves and realize you are touching tangible evidence of a great invention from a mind far greater than our own.

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