The World’s Oldest Trees: Protecting Our Ancient Living Citadels
The Big Tree is Nature’s forest masterpiece, and so far as I know, the greatest of living things. -John Muir
As may be suspected, I have a thing for trees. Their beauty, grace, strength, and perseverance are constant reminders of our need — as caretakers of this beautiful sphere — to honor and safeguard these living entities. Upwards of 5,000 years old, they’ve borne witness to the rise and fall of entire civilizations; just imagine. But their gentle tending roles in the more immediate natural scheme are just lovely — I recently replanted a young tree, just a tiny sapling really. Within a day, baby birds were flocking to its young roots and branches for sanctuary. Days after we planted our live oak, mockingbirds were building nests, and our neighborhood [foreclosure] cats were relaxing in the young tree’s afforded shade — a highly valued resource in over-developed South Florida.
Counting the ways in which trees help the planet at large, though, is overwhelming — reducing carbon, providing oxygen, lifting and releasing water, filtering air and pollutants, reducing heat, preventing soil erosion, cleaning the soil, controlling noise pollution, serving as a sustainable energy resource, and providing notable psychological benefits. Studies have repeatedly demonstrated the clinical benefits of patients afforded an arboreal view, for instance — from reduced stress, to quicker recover times and a decreased use of painkillers.* Trees are simply imperative for our survival.
For decades, scientists have studied the electric currents that flow through trees — and how, when a single leaf is cut, readings spike throughout the entire structure.** [The Kirlian photographs of both whole and cut leaves may be another topic altogether.] You don’t have to be Druidic to understand the undeniable links we share with trees, just as we share the planet — keyword, share. We are all transmitters of electricity and energy.
Plant a tree…Recycle…Go paperless with bills…Follow the conservation groups diligently working to protect these magnificent and ancient living citadels.
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