Trees

Definitions

  • a plant having a permanently woody main stem or trunk, ordinarily growing to a considerable height, and usually developing branches at some distance from the ground.
  • any large woody perennial plant with a distinct trunk giving rise to branches or leaves at some distance from the ground
  • any plant that resembles this but has a trunk not made of wood, such as a palm tree

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Proverbs

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”
Greek Proverb

“Though a tree grows so high, the falling leaves return to the root.”
Malay proverb

“Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come.”
Chinese proverb

“From a fallen tree, all make kindling.”
Spanish proverb

“A tree falls the way it leans.”
Bulgarian Proverb

“A tree does not move unless there is wind.”
Afghan Proverb

“A seed hidden in the heart of an apple is an orchard invisible.”
A Welsh proverb

Quotes

“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”
― Chris Maser,Forest Primeval: The Natural History of an Ancient Forest

“They kill good trees to put out bad newspapers.”
– James G. Watt

“Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness.”
– Kahlil Gibran

“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
– Warren Buffett

“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy
reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.”
– Basil

“Evolution did not intend trees to grow singly. Far more than ourselves they are social creatures, and no more natural as isolated specimens than man is as a marooned sailor or hermit.”
– John Fowles

“Many a genius has been slow of growth. Oaks that flourish for a thousand years do not spring up into beauty like a reed.”
– George H. Lewis, 1817 – 1878

“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”
– Abraham Lincoln

“A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.”
– William Blake, Proverbs of Hell, 1790

“A man does not plant a tree for himself, he plants it for posterity.”
– Alexander Smith

“There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it.”
– Minnie Aumonier

“May my life be like a great hospitable tree, and may weary wanderers find in me a rest.”
– John Henry Jowett

“He who plants a tree, plants a hope.”
– Lucy Larcom, Plant a Tree

“Hui Tzu said to Chuang Tzu: “I have a big stinktree in my garden. The trunk is so bent and knotty that nobody can get a good straight plank out of it. The branches are so crooked you can’t cut them up in any way that makes sense. There it stands beside the road and no carpenter will even look at it. Such is your teaching, Chuang – big and useless.”
Chuang Tzu replied: “Have you ever watched the wildcat crouching, watching its prey? This way it leaps, and that way,
high and low, and at last – it lands in the trap. Have you ever seen the yak? It is great as a thundercloud, standing in his might.
Big? Sure. But, he can’t catch mice! So for your big tree. No use? Then plant it in the wasteland – in emptiness. Walk idly around it and rest under it’s shadow. No axe or saw prepares its end. No one will ever cut it down. Useless? You should worry!”
– Chuang Tzu, The Useless Tree, circa 200 B.C.

“Except during the nine months before he draws his first breath, no man manages his affairs as well as a tree does.”
– George Bernard Shaw
“Our ordinary mind always tries to persuade us that we are nothing but acorns and that our greatest happiness will be to become bigger, fatter, shinier acorns; but that is of interest only to pigs. Our faith gives us knowledge of something better: that we can become oak trees.”
– E.F. Schumacher

“Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience.
Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.”
– Hal Borland, Countryman: A Summary of Belief

“Trees are the best monuments that a man can erect to his own memory. They speak his praises without flattery, and they are blessings to children yet unborn.”
– Lord Orrery, 1749
“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people. ”
― Franklin D. Roosevelt

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”
John Muir

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”
John Lubbock, The Use Of Life

“To be poor and be without trees, is to be the most starved human being in the world. To be poor and have trees, is to be completely rich in ways that money can never buy.”
Clarissa Pinkola Estés, The Faithful Gardener: A Wise Tale About That Which Can Never Die

“Look: the trees exist; the houses we dwell in stand there stalwartly.
Only we pass by it all, like a rush of air. And everything conspires to keep quiet about us, half out of shame perhaps, half out of some secret hope.”
Rainer Maria Rilke, Duino Elegies

“All our wisdom is stored in the trees.”
Santosh Kalwar

“Oak trees come out of acorns, no matter how unlikely that seems. An acorn is just a tree’s way back into the ground. For another try. Another trip through. One life for another.”
– Shirley Ann Grau

“Life without love is like a tree without blossom and fruit.”
– Khalil Gibran

“The patient. – The pine tree seems to listen, the fir tree to wait: and both without impatience: – they give no thought to the little people beneath them devoured by their impatience and their curiosity.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche, The Wanderer and His Shadow, # 176.

“Why are there trees I never walk under but large and melodious thoughts descend upon me?”
–  Walt Whitman, Song of the Open Road

“If a tree dies, plant another in its place.”
Linnaeus

“What did the tree learn from the earth to be able to talk with the sky?”
– Pablo Neruda

“I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do.”
Willa Cather (1873-1947), >O Pioneers 1913

“At night I dream that you and I are two plants
that grew together, roots entwined,
and that you know the earth and the rain like my mouth,
since we are made of earth and rain.”
Pablo Neruda,Regalo de un Poeta

 

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Poems

“I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.”
– Joyce Kilmer, 1886-1918, Trees

 

Dtales

Texts

“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.”
Hermann Hesse, Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte

 

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Riddles

This part of a tree protects it like a coat. It is a sound certain animals make. What am I?

I can often be found sitting up in a tree. I am made of grass, sticks or mud. I love families. What am I?

I am used in a sport. I share the name of a flying mammal. I’m made out of hard wood. What am I?

I give off moisture and oxygen into the air. When things start to get cold, I change my colours. When it freezes, I usually fall down, even if it’s not slippery. What am I?

Tree branches are my roadways. I eat, play and sleep in trees. What am I?

I am a type of gas that cars produce when they burn fossil fuel. Trees clean the air when they absorb me. I am also called CO2. What am I? (2 words)

You might read the comics on me. I come from a huge roll. I’m made from softwood lumber. What am I?

Saturn has them. Married people wear them. A tree’s age can be determined by counting them. What are they?

I am a type of belt. I offer protection from the wind. I am formed when several trees are planted closely to each other around a property. What am I? (2 words)

Answers: Bark, Nest, Bat, Leaf, Squirrel, Carbon Dioxide, Newsprint, Rings, Shelter belt

 

Facts

How old are trees

All trees grow, not only in height each year, but in diameter. Have you seen a tree stump and noticed the light and dark rings on it? These rings represent the annual growth of the tree.

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In the spring, when the weather is wet, trees grow more quickly than at other times during the year. This rapid growth produces thin-walled (low density) cells. This growth produces the light colored rings, and is called early wood or spring wood.

During the summer, when the weather becomes drier, growth begins to slow, and the tee produces thick-walled (higher density) cells which form the thin dark rings next to the light ones. This growth is called latewood, or summer wood. One light and one dark colored band equal one year’s growth. Counting the number or growth rings on a stump will tell you how old the stump was when the tree fell or was cut down.

How Old Is That Tree?

The pattern of the rings will also tell you something about the history of the tree’s life. Rings that appear narrow and bunched together are the result of bad growing conditions, such as drought or unusually cold weather. Rings that are wider than the rest indicate better than average growing condition, such as unusually warm and wet weather, or a fertilization source added to the soil.

See beautiful photos from some of oldest trees in Beth Moon website.

 

Find your way
When lost, it is possible to use trees to assist you in navigation. In northern temperate climates, moss will grow on the northern side of the tree trunk, where it is shadier. Failing that, if you find a tree that has been cut down, you can observe the rings of the tree to discover which direction north is. In the northern hemisphere, the rings of growth in a tree trunk are slightly thicker on the southern side, which receives more light. The converse is true in the southern hemisphere.

This could save your life; credit: Lorenzo Tonello / shutterstock.com, modification by SDR

 

Make your way

Living root bridges are a form of tree shaping common in the southern part of the Northeast Indian state of Meghalaya. They are handmade from the aerial roots of living banyan fig trees, such as Ficus elastica by the Khasi people and War Jaintia peoples of the mountainous terrain along the southern part of the Shillong Plateau.


The pliable tree roots are made to grow through betel tree trunks which have been placed across rivers and streams until the figs’ roots attach themselves to the other side. Sticks, stones, and other objects are used to stabilize the growing bridge This process can take up to 15 years to complete. The useful lifespan of any given living root bridge is variable, but it is thought that, under ideal conditions, they can in principle last for many hundreds of years. As long as the tree they are formed from remains healthy, they naturally self-renew and self-strengthen as their component roots grow thicker.

 

 

Sources

http://www.picturequotes.com/tree-quotes/

http://www.regina.ca/students/trees/tree-riddles/

http://www.gardendigest.com/trees.htm

http://landarchs.com/8-amazing-facts-trees-didnt-know/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_root_bridges

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/trees?s=t

https://www.portblakely.com/pb-tree-farms/environmental-education/teachers/handouts/how-old-is-that-tree

http://www.bethmoon.com/TouchWood00.html

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