Trees Please


Forgive me for painting this poor mess of a tree mocking me and now you too.

“I am older and wiser than you will ever be.

You do not know me at all.

I’m stronger, too, than you, and free;

you who can’t stand naked in the wind and rain.

Stronger than you who goes into your house when it is 90 degrees,  and looks out your window

at me,

poor dear tree, a nameless, brainless wooden statue, green in summer, red in fall

You do not know me at all.

But I am patient…I have stood here eighty years, and I’m in still in my prime. Ha, I’ll stand longer than you, unless…

I watch you.

Oh the things I could say about you.

No, I can’t talk, but I can whisper, spreading rumors underground. Some call it the “wood wide network”,  a link we have with each other and  outsiders who take the time to learn the language.

A forest is a foreign land. Come on in, Red Riding Hood, come and listen to our call.

You do not know us at all.


But I am learning about you thanks to an amazing book, THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES by Peter Wohlleben. “Trees, it turns out have a different way of communicating. They use scent.” (p.6) “If the roots find themselves in trouble, this information is broadcast throughout the tree, which can trigger the leaves to release scent compounds. And not just any old scent compounds, but compounds that are specially formulated for the task at hand.” (p.8)  I am only half way through the book, but I have learned that this communication is not only internal to the individual tree, but external to its surroundings. Neighboring trees will help the troubled tree by sending him needed chemicals through the root systems. I used the male pronoun generically because I can no longer call a tree “it.”







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