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Thursday Tree Love: Transformation

17 Comments

“Death does not have the last word; God has the last word, and that word is love.”

Forward Day by Day

twisted tree with wounds and moss

We are beginning to understand that trees are connected by an underground network which allows them to communicate with and support each other. Writing about Peter Wohlleben, author of The Hidden Life of Trees, Richard Grant writes this in Smithsonian Magazine:

Once, he came across a gigantic beech stump in this forest, four or five feet across. The tree was felled 400 or 500 years ago, but scraping away the surface with his penknife, Wohlleben found something astonishing: the stump was still green with chlorophyll. There was only one explanation. The surrounding beeches were keeping it alive, by pumping sugar to it through the network.
Read more here.
The communal life of trees suggests a different awareness of life and death as we’ve know it.  In a natural forest, seemingly dead trees provide habitat for all kinds of small animals as well as living moss and lichen. What we perceive as dead and dying trees are very important for the life of a forest. However, this living system is destroyed in Christmas tree “farms” and wherever trees are clear cut.
This new awareness of how trees live in nature reinforces my fascination with a tree I discovered near the Linville River. I did not photograph the top of the tree, because there wasn’t much there from my perspective. The tree appeared to be dead. But the life growing on its trunk was beautiful.
tree wound with moss (2)
tree wound with moss
tree wound
The tree’s root system is part of the trail and strong enough to walk on. Maybe this tree is not dead as we tend to interpret death. Science teaches us that energy and matter cannot be created or destroyed, but they can be transformed.
twisted tree with wounds and moss
Love-tree-with-heart-shaped-branches-and-birds
Thursday Tree Love is a photo feature hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. For more tree love, visit:

Author: JoAnna

An open minded, tree-hugging Jesus follower, former counselor, and life-long lover of animals, I'm returning to my creative roots and have published my first book: Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again as well as the short version: From Loneliness to Love.

17 thoughts on “Thursday Tree Love: Transformation

  1. Fascinating and informative. Thanks for sharing the link to the article about Peter Wohlleben’s research.

  2. Great textures, love the moss too.

  3. Well, our perspectives on trees are different here. One, I’ve lived at Ft Stewart where pines are forested for profit. Two, I live here where Christmas tree farms and apple orchards are as valuable a livelihood as corn. So, while nature does her thing and she does it better than us, I still find merit in man’s meddling.

    • Thanks for that perspective, Joey. Diversity makes the world go round. I was wondering how Christmas tree farms work, like whether they leave any trees growing and the cut your own farms. Many years ago, I cut the very top off our our cedar tree out front and used it for a Christmas tree. The rooted tree is still going strong.

      • It varies. Some farms have their own nurseries and offer the trees with the roots attached, so they can be planted after. Some have their own nurseries but don’t offer them. There are some places where the trees are cut in a way that allows them to keep growing, like your cedar. They take most of the tree and trim the lower limbs off to sell the tree, but the stump is still tall so the stump regrows. The movement for sustainability has great impact, as these larger farms also craft wreaths and make tinctures and sell lumber and cones and all the bits — repurposing. Some places leave stumps for a few years and others grind them out immediately. Like any other crop, there’s no one way.

        • Thanks for sharing all these possibilities, Joey. I’m glad to know there are a couple of options for keeping the trees alive and the ways of minimizing waste.

  4. Loved your post, JoAnna. It was very informative and I have seen trees that look like they are dead but they aren’t. They help support then insects around. You post made me think of the community they have and how they help support each other. Thanks for joining, JoAnna. I am hoping to see you around for the last edition for 2019 on the 26th Dec.

  5. Amazing! The Hidden Life of Trees is among my favourite books! You have beautifully captured the life that exists around a tree.. Coincidentally, my post was was also about Coexistence.. 🙂

  6. That’s really awesome!

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