Trees: In Praise of These Giant Leafy Bastards

Trees
Trees!

Ah, trees. Mystical, magical, enigmatic, as old as time! There’s something noble and profound about a tree standing silently – this time of year especially – with its leaves having dyed to a redhead type look. It’s all rather lush and fabulous, with the wind whipping them up to make that fabulous rustling sound. Thusly, we’re celebrating the tree today. Got a problem with that?! Then beat it!

Trees

Botanists classify trees as a perennial plant with an elongated stem. By that, we guess they mean the trunk bit. Or, if you’re really stupid and need more guidance there, it’s the big brown bit with bark on it that sticks high up into the air. On top of the brown bit is a load of hair – these are “leaves”.

There are circa 3.04 trillion trees on Earth. However, the plants have only made their home here – you’re not finding any of them on Jupiter, for example, or anywhere else in the universe. We guess the trees just really like it here, what with the sunlight and rain.

The magic of trees is seen in all forms of culture. From ancient art right up the modern era, where video games such as The Witcher 3 dedicate a huge chunk of time to ensuring the trees look every bit the part.

The magic of trees is seen in all walks of life. We’ve been fans of German Romantic landscape artist Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840) for some time now. Trees are a constant in his work – it’s rare to come across a painting of his that doesn’t have a tree in it. Behold: The Abbey in the Oakwood (1808).

The Abbey in the Oakwoood - Casper David Friedrich
Click on the picture for a closer look. GO ON!

He even painted one called The Lonely Tree. In fact, this was an obsession of the era for Romatic painters. So much so that art critic John Ruskin, in 1856, called the infatuation, “modern-day cloud worship”. But those blasted trees can improve any setting – they’re simultaneously uplifting, terrifying (as above, but also think of all the horror films they’ve appeared in), and crammed full of pathos.

You can know a tree from the age of a child and, 80 years later, return and it’ll still be there – stoic, indifferent, unemotional, and utterly unchanged over the decades… unless some construction company bulldozed it down prior to that OAP realisation. Kind of a common occurence these days. But the good news is this – trees are fighting back against humanity!

That in itself is imporant. They’re essential to our life here on planet Earth. And a trillion trees may sound a lot, but the way us humans work that’ll dwindle and dwindle to crisis levels over the next few hundred years. Help by planting trees. How? Head over to Ecosia – it’s the search engine that, whilst you search, plants trees due to your searching. Huzzah!

Leaves

The humble leaf plays a big part in the allure of a tree. Especially during autumn, as we’ve already indicated. They get a nice hue on the go. During summer, they’re green. But asides from creating that rustling  noise, they’re also nice enough with the pitter patter of the old rain on them there things. So, if you have a spare eight hours listen to that thing above.

The Biggest Tree on Earth

Finally, let’s take a look at what is the most epic tree on planet Earth. You’re going to have to watch the video for that, but it’s a big bugger. It’s a giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum if Latin gibberish is your thing) and you can find it in California’s Sequoia National Park. It’s called General Sherman.

So, not only is it a tree, it’s also served in the army. That’s a distinguished achievement, non? Instead of going, “Sir! Yes, sir!” you’d have to yell, “Tree! Yes, tree!”… yeah, there’s a reason today wasn’t a witty post, you know? Sometimes, you just want to skulk about and not be all on it.

26 comments

  1. Can I climb one? Are they related to vegetables? Can I make a Citizens Arrest if I catch someone chopping one down? If a homeless tree comes to live on my porch, what are my legal rights? I’m so very confused.

    Like

    • You’re free to climb any tree. It’s just usually an activity for bored youths or tree surgeons.

      A homeless tree? What a sad notion. But the best thing to do, confused woman, is to leave trees be. They’re dangerous, plotting things and I’m scared of them.

      Like

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