Sunday, April 10, 2005


When I see a tree by itself in a field, I consider it to be "free."  That is, a tree that has the true freedom to be what it was really meant to be, to grow large and shapely and glorious.  Most trees don't have true freedom; they grow huddled together in the woods, where other trees intrude upon their privacy.  They grow crowded and stunted, not quite reaching their full potential.  They are slightly sad, but know that's the price to pay for having the company of others and are content.  Else, why would so many trees grow that way?

The tree ID books always show the inquisitive human tree lover what a tree would look like if it were free.  Each species has its own shape:  some are tall and thin, some are fat and bushy.  You could identify a tree sometimes by its shape.  But it's so rarely possible--at least around here in PA, where they are growing batched together.

The town trees are the worst.  Here you often see trees that are actually ENSLAVED.  They were planted alone, where the possibilities of reaching their true glory loom optimistic, but they didn't know about the bane of electric lines.  The humans said, "Ah, you thought you were going to be free, but you didn't know about the rule we have here:  you can only grow so high, and if you get near the electric lines, we'll put a stop to that."  Then the trees are cropped and chopped and bent and broken so that they grow misshapen and grotesque.  Some trees are made to appear as two separate trees, curving on either side of the lines.  It's obscene, causing one to look away in embarrassment, like one does when driving down the highway and encountering the red clumps of a deer spread all over the pavement.


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