When was the last time you took a look at a tree? Sure there is a smartphone app to teach you how to garden, but when was the last time you took a good look at the trees in your community? The old cliche’ “Tree of Life,” holds some truth and value. The tall wood plant provides food, furniture, products, oxygen, healing, and a home to a number of species on planet earth. Trees have an intricate and vital role to play in our ecosystem. Some trees tell stories whether it’s of the civilization or the climate. The tree bark can reveal much on the outside, and inside of the tree.
This weekend I visited the U.S. National Arboretum. It is a breathtaking beauty. Filled with trees, floral plants, shrubs, and nature’s species – butterflies, bees. Established in 1927 by an Act of Congress, the Arboretum is on 446 acres of land with 9.5 miles of winding roadways.
You don’t need to have any interest in being an environmentalist or botanist to consider visiting the Arboretum; a hidden gem in the District. It only requires some comfortable shoes, water, and a camera to capture the beautiful scenery and just take some time to bond with nature. By the way, forgot to mention, it’s free, so you can’t go wrong. In fact, its the perfect first date. Don’t have to spend any money, and you’ll get to spend time enjoying the beautiful scene; even if the conversations don’t seem to be going anywhere.
Could you imagine for one second what the world would look like without trees? Just about everywhere you look, you can spot a tree. We sure wouldn’t have heard the cliche’ “the grass is greener on the other side.” Many paintings have illustrations of tress or flowering plants. The trees bring an element of calming and protection into the picture or atmosphere; suppose this is where the role of oxygen comes into play.
Have you ever notice which trees attract certain species? Or even considered which trees are responsible for producing the fruits, nuts, and plants that we need to sustain life. Better yet, how which bark provides health benefits. Don’t think of a tree like a block chain process, but think about who planted the tree? How long the tree has been alive, and what can the tree produce? These are all important questions and help with understanding the true value the tree holds to the environment and the community.
What is building or creating a sustainable life without being surrounded by trees? Not much breathing room for growth perhaps. But take some time to think about how well the trees have treated us, and what we can do to help them stay alive, while they sustain our lives. Here is a start, simply enjoy these patterns of the tree bark. Take a moment to examine how they are similar, different, and the colors. Are all the patterns the same? What do they say about the climate in that environment? Don’t wait until the treeing for construction projects to care.