Every Tree Will Tell A Story Until There Are No More Stories To Tell
Michael Joseph Quote
Every tree will tell a story until there are no more stories to tell; Michael Joseph on the silent historians of the forest who keep their dignity but lose their bark
If trees could talk this is what I would expect them to, collectively say:
Every Breath We Make, Every Tree You Take, Gaia's Watching You
So called sustainable actions by mankind taken against the lungs of the earth could be deemed forgivable until man went too far, the acceleration of tree clearances during the 20th and 21st centuries were just too much, which brings us to the point we are at now and to say the proverbial Gaia is unimpressed would be an understatement.
The main problem with humans is they are proactive when there is a profit to be made regardless of consequences and reactive only after an event deemed actionable by the greater majority in society.
Talking trees may be more Hollywood than tropical wood but with some species of tree over 1000 years old they have seen more history of this planet than the current generation of humans. It is ironic that much of the history humans have of planet earth is written down on pieces of paper taken from the same trees!
Trees have bore witness to man made and natural disasters alike from war and destruction to typhoons and hurricanes to land clearances that have paved the way for crops to feed humans or areas to actually house humans.
Can you imagine looking at us from an aliens perspective? They could easily see us as the scourge of the planet who despite our so called intelligence are actually a pest who is conspicuous only by our arrogance and not the prominent life form we see ourselves as.
Tales From The Tree Trunk
If trees could communicate verbally with humans they could tell us some interesting stories like a yew tree estimated to be 1500 years old in Crowhurst, Surrey that was found to have an English civil war cannonball embedded inside it.
Tales from the tree trunk have shown the relics of mankinds war machines completely embedded in tree trunks as they have grown around and through various items years after the abandonment of helmets, guns, grenades and shells.
Trees Do Tell Stories They Just Cannot Talk
Old trees store information on climate and events such as fires, a tree with a wide circle reveals a great year for growth and dark burn scarring shows evidence of fire.
Climate data such as rainfall patterns and temperature garnered from trees are a useful source of information to study and understand the past and to give us clues for the future.
Scientists no longer fell trees to access this information as they can use a process called tree coring where a narrow core is extracted from the tree without harming its future growth prospects. They also make use of trees that have died naturally or branches that have fell for more recent data.
Tree Extinction And The Arrogance Of Man
There are many species of tree around the world that are in danger of extinction with causes ranging from climate to man made intervention. The arrogance of man also assumes that if a tree seems plentiful now it will always be that way so a blind eye can easily be provided to allow their logging.
Every day the Amazon rain forest loses trees covering the equivalent of more than 4000 football pitches, although Brazil has worked to curb illegal logging resulting in a decrease of lost trees there are increases in neighbouring countries such as Bolivia and Peru.
The species that are estimated to suffer the greatest losses in this area are the wild cacao, brazil nut, and açai trees with dam construction, mining and logging being the main man made threats.
Elsewhere there are stories all around the world, Hong Kong is in danger of seeing its incense or agarwood trees nearing local extinction due to being illegally cut down for their resin to be sold into Asian markets who prize its aromatic qualities.
Ironically Hong Kong was named after this tree as when the name is translated it means 'fragrant harbour' so if it follows China into agarwood local extinction it will be like a piece of the essence of its history has been removed.
The cynic in me thinks this would give the powers that be an excuse to rename Hong Kong in a bid to disguise their dereliction of conservation duties.
The baobabs of Madagascar used to comprise a dense tropical forest but they have sadly been reduced to just over 20, they are each more than 300 years old and were in 2007 granted a temporary protection order. Currently there are three species of baobab tree listed as endangered on the IUCN red list.
The Honduras rosewood indigenous to Belize, Southern Mexico, and Guatemala is endangered because of the quality of wood is perfect for making precision wooden stringed instruments.
The list goes on, across the planet there are hundreds of endangered species with some on the verge of complete extinction, it is never too late to do the right thing and start to protect the natural world from mankinds excesses.
Unfortunately humans only seem to be interested in personal gain so it would probably cost the earth to save the earth, but even this is not too high a price to pay to the men who sold the world.