The Last Leaves

The Day When Forests
Won’t Have Any Trees

Climate emergency, – a man-made executioner we fear so much that we’ve sent our own children to do battle with – has always had a fierce opponent, even before it needed one: trees. Living beings that ushered us to the present, they’ve got all it takes to save our future.
As long as they’re standing, that is. But stood have many, for millennia. As we see forests, we miss what makes them one. Trees may be downed, but nothing kills their gift for being reborn. The history of the world is told by thousand rings inside their girth.
They tower and endure. They come as big as cathedrals, and as old as a religion. Life travels from roots to high up branches, as they hang on to Earth as its own giant limbs. Trees have been blowing oxygen down our lungs for ages; time to fight fire and scarcity to pay back our dues.
Through their rings, they tell a story of damage humans have inflicted on climate and natural resources, going back centuries. For 300 million years, they’ve been withstanding every era – and unlike with dinosaurs, not even catastrophic asteroid collisions did they in.
But now, our predatory drive is catching up with trees too. That’s why the young is so mad, and the old is none the wise preventing them from grabbing the helm out of our incapable hands and saving the planet already. They were unfairly pushed into this, and are better off not counting on us.

Compared to trees’ estimated appearance on the planet, Mathuselah, the thick twisty Pinus Longaeva that’s been in living in California for 4,850 years, doesn’t seem that impressive. But it is indeed older than the Egyptian pyramids, and yes, Christianity itself.
It certainly predates the biblical figure it’s named after too; that Mathuselah supposedly lived a mere 969 years, but we know how the good book often plays loose with facts and numbers. In any case, the tree is real, even if its exact location is secret to prevent vandalism.
In some ways, it’s even more real than other popular California residents: Joshua trees. That’s because, they’re not trees at all (more)
Read Also:
* Amazon Via Acre
* Safe Arbor Clauses
* Passing Trees

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Safe Arbor Clauses

Three About Trees &
a 5,000 Year Old Truck

Buddha sat under one. Sumerians have crossed oceans on ships built with them. Many species disappeared, or exist only in old depictions, paintings predating the modern era. Yet defying all odds, trees still grace our world, and stun us with their girth, height, and vigor.
That’s why a man in India has planted whole forests of them, and the Brazilians plan to count those in the Amazon. Now, as the world’s biggest trees continue to grow, according to botanists, an editor at NOVA begs new architects: please, stop placing them in skyscrapers.
In New York City, where the latter thrive, though, trees are subjected to more mundane afflictions of street life, such as dog pee, rusted chains, and cigarette butts. That’s why the Treedom Project is halfway through a quest, which ends May 26, to ‘liberate them’ from such indignities.
But without being the cradle of ancient trees, or having a forest to call its own – never mind the woody wilderness of upstate New York – the city is still home of one of the gems of modern urban green architecture: Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux’s Central Park.
Carved and carefully planted at the heart of the city, it’s a wonder that neither its 800 acres plus nor its incredible variety of species haven’t felt to the axes of powerful real estate moguls. If the park’s been the setting of a few bloody crimes, it’s also been the very reason many a resident haven’t yet lost his or her mind.
Still, for all their majestic and soothing presence in Manhattan, no Central Park tree comes close in age to Methuselah, a fittingly-named truck which, by some accounts, is the world’s oldest. The bristlecone is said to be 4,844 years old, a thousand years older than any other on Earth, and it’s been living all this time at a pine forest in California.
The good news, at least if you’re a tree, is that many of the big species are still growing, just like what you’d wish your mind were doing right now. A Humboldt State University research team found that 3,200-year old giant sequoias, for instance, actually grow faster later in life than in their ‘teenage’ years, when all they’ve got is a few hundred summers imprinted on their rings.
One of nature’s best recordkeepers, trees can report back to us our entire walk on this planet, better that we ever could. They may not Continue reading

Guerrilla Meals

Grafters, Edible Streets and
Famous Trees Killed by Idiots

The idea of turning urban greens into food resources for the hungry and the homeless is not new. But as far as the economy is concerned, there’s an increasing urgency making such an informal idea into a practical alternative to help feed the poor.
Several cities in North America and Europe already have some kind of seasonal programs that turn selected green spaces into edible tree markets, open to anyone. These programs are usually run in partnership with grassroots communities, and some are quite ambitious, aiming at creating new fruit tree species.
Talking about species, though, no other is as ambivalent and contradictory as our own, and along with such commendable efforts and noble purposes, there’s always the unconscious, the cruel and the plain ignorant who won’t hesitate at terminating a thousand-year wondrous life, that only happened to be on the idiot’s way.
Notwithstanding the patronizing aspect of such efforts, a fruit tree-lined street, or a corner in a public park, do offer a renewable, low-cost maintenance natural resource, that can provide a nutritious Continue reading

Passing Trees

Dead of 3,500-Year Old
Senator Is Still Unsolved

It’s been almost week now since the oldest tree in the U.S. burned to the ground in Florida. Investigators still have no idea what felled the 118-ft. tall bald cypress. But we should all be mourning the passing of a contemporary of Alexander, the Great, in our backyard.
Some would say, though, so what? Rainforests are being burned all over the world at record speeds and they’re much older. The oldest is still standing in Malaysia after 130 million years, which makes the Amazon, at about 50 million years of age, a far too-young-to-die forest.
Perhaps that’s why an increasing number of botanists are saying, screw it, we’re dropping the Latin. Meaning that the official procedure of naming plant species in Latin is getting in the way of quickly identifying new species.
Sadly, more and more are not even lasting that brief time, in ecological terms, that the Senator did. According to researchers, there may be as many as 100,000 plant species that are not yet known to science, waiting to be cataloged. That is, if we can find and describe them in time. Besides, Latin is already a dead tongue.
What botanists fear the most is deforestation, invasive species and climate change, all of which represent immediate threats to up to Continue reading