Giants of nature

Since spring makes us practice patience this year, we took the opportunity to go south for a bit, to the area of ” La Drôme”, the passed weekend. Even down there they hadn’t come much longer in terms of flowering and greens. We made a lovely forest walk though and came across these magnificent giants leading up to the actual wild woods.

CèdreIf I’m not mistaken these are Atlas cedars (the word Atlas meaning “the Carrier” in greek). It’s hard to make justice on a photo to such big trees, but several of the trunks must have measured over a meter wide, and as you can see the branches was inviting as natural hammocks. It’s just incredible to creep up on the branches of such giants, opening up to the strength and wisdom of nature.

I love trees. Thinking about how they are silent witnesses to generations passing by, scenting their seeming everlasting patience throughout storm, sunshine and fog, and embracing their strong life force and compassion fills me with respect and reverence.  Yes, I think trees, like other plants, shows compassion. We are just about to start understanding a small bit of the exchange trees actually have between each other. They are not all about competition like we have thought here in the west since a long time  now. No, they actually share lots of information and communication which benefits to all. Think about it, how often will you see one lonely tree in the middle of a field in a true natural area?

Some might know that a single isolated tree can have more difficulty to thrive than in a group of trees growing together, but many think that you have to plant them all at the same time for it to work. I recently learned that this is not necessary and that if you wish to implant a young tree next to an older one, the only thing you need to do to facilitate the implantation is to prune the older tree before preparing for the new one. Since the old tree has established a certain amount of roots according to the need of its foliage, cutting away a part of the mass above ground will cause a correlative part of roots to die. This is pure adaption to the new needs of the plant. However, the situation will come in profit to the new tree since the dead roots will start to decompose, leaving free space to the roots that the new tree will develop, and also slowly releasing the nutriments from the old roots and leaving a more airy structure to the soil.

Of course less disease, more stable humidity, mutual protection from the elements and variated foliage are other pleasant advantages (both for the trees and us humans) if one chooses to plant trees or bushes together.

“Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky” – Khalil Gibran

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