Friday, May 20, 2005

Tree hugging

I found myself in the garden this evening. A gentle breeze, sunshine, cats lazing about enjoying the unaccustomed company and so forth. Gosh, how I do like the month of May. As is my wont on such occasions, I went to enjoy the beauties of "my" Eucalyptus. I bought it in February 1998; a 2' high (maybe not even that) little example of eucalyptus pavifolia. It's now about 20' high? With a trunk easily 12" across. I can swing off one of its branches and it barely sags, and I'm what my mum euphemistically calls "well built". Last year I was thinking the same branch would make good propulsion for a pole lathe, but now it's far too sturdy for such a task. Does its rapid rate of growth bother me? Nope; it seems to have hit the subsoil and it ain't getting any higher, which is the one worry I had. But it gives me a tremendous buzz to see "my" tree. And it really is a tree. You could just about plank the trunk now, if you cut it down. It casts a serious, but dappled, shadow across the grass. Under its protection pulmonarias, azeleas, and herbacious geraniums flourish. Sparrows, various tits, robins, blackbirds and goldfinches alight on its branches. Great chunks of bark have peeled from it, which looks beautiful and provides raw material for my mum's flower arangements. The parrots have played with some prunings from it. I feel like it's really contributed to the world. And one day, when the time is right, I hope it'll live on as something joined or turned. I planted a tree, and it grew and grew, and I'm more chuffed about it than I could ever have imagined. Maybe you can tell? :~)

Earlier this year my folks made a contribution to the Royal Society of Arts woodland planting scheme. It's to celebrate some anniversary or something. Anyway, they "bought" five trees; one for each of their descendants. Me, my two brothers and my two nephews. Just imagine if all those five could achieve even half what my one, albeit alien, tree has done. Marvellous. I just hope they'll be allowed to cut them down for timber before they rot, when the time comes...

On a similar theme, if I remember correctly, some patriotic citizen or other (maybe more than one) went round with a pocketful of acorns and whenever he saw a likely spot, he planted one. The idea was to provide the raw materials for the "Hearts of Oak" to defend the nation in the future, long before the idea of steel ship hulls was thought of. What a forward-thinking fellow. I seem to recall somewhere reading that someone planted coppices all over the place to represent the postitions of the fleet at Trafalgar too, but I've never been able to track down the reference again. I believe there's a move to plant a host of oaks to commorate the bicentennial of Trafalgar this year. All I ask is that the lucky future generations are allowed to reap the rewards of mature timber, and not doomed to see them rot where they stand in the name of conservation. Trees can live forever, as long as you don't want them to live forever as trees.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Owing to vast quantities of spam this blog is getting, I'm afraid only registered users can post. All comments are moderated before publication, so there may be some delay. My apologies.