Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Letters To Trees

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Nature, Biodiversity

Ed Hessler

My neighborhood has what I refer to as a "hotline" where people talk,sometimes rant, about neighborhood issues, let others know of free stuff that has been set on curbs, announce events, ask for help, crime news, exchange special tools when needed once or for a short time, advice, recommendations for services, and often those that start with ISO--in search of. It is an incredibly valuable community service and busy with daily traffic.

This is a re-post of a note I published on it July 7, 2022. It has been slightly modified from the original.

Mary Hrovat writes for 3 Quarks Daily. Her column on July 4 was gem-like, deliciously thoughtful, leaving me appropriately misty-eyed. I thought especially about the trees that were in one way or another important to me when I was a K-12 school and following including a very particular neighborhood redbud.

She begins her essay "Love Letters to Trees" with an observation on the prompt for the essay. "When the city of Melbourne (Australia) set up email addresses for trees so that people could report problems, the trees received affectionate fan mail as well as messages about dangling limbs or other hazards. Here are some letters I’d write to trees, if I could." 

Hrovat links to an article in The Guardian about the City of Central Melbourne's trees which features an interactive map on each of its 70,000 trees. (my emphasis) Be sure to take a look for it is a very impressive undertaking.

Here are the headers for the letters Hrovat wrote:.

--To the aspens in Hannagan Meadows
--To the hedge apple tree in a yard long ago
--To the two big gingko trees on the IU Bloomington campus
--To the red maples along the path I used to take to work
--To the hollow beech tree in Winslow Woods

I've never done this but these are five trees to which I'd send a letter. A Scotch pine in our backyard, maples in the fall on the highway leading into town, Sycamore on the flood plain of a creek, Redbuds on the Cornell Campus, Apple trees in abandoned orchards on the hill above my house. I think of them often.

Hrovat's essay Includes photographs by Julian Hook.

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