Tree Wisdom

Sept. 25 2013 pkwy 023

“If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees.” 

Hal Borland


“Break open a cherry tree and there are no flowers, but the spring breeze brings forth myriad blossoms.”
Ikkyu Sojun

July 5 garden at sunset 022

“I am not bound for any public place, but for ground of my own where I have planted vines and orchard trees, and in the heat of the day climbed up into the healing shadow of the woods.”
Wendell Berry

December 16, 2013 Naturalization 040
The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”

Nelson Henderson

November 18, 2013 WC 015
For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver.”

Martin Luther

November 24 2013 trees 040

“They are beautiful in their peace, they are wise in their silence. They will stand after we are dust. They teach us, and we tend them.”
  Galeain ip Altiem MacDunelmor

August 11 2013 CP trees 008

“No wonder the hills and groves were God’s first temples, and the more they are cut down and hewn into cathedrals and churches, the farther off and dimmer seems the Lord himself.”
John Muir

December 17, 2013 flowers 050

“Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness.”

Kahlil Gibran


“God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods.  But he cannot save them from fools.” 

John Muir

December 26 2013 Christmas 039

“Trees outstrip most people in the extent and depth of their work for the public good.” 

Sara Ebenreck, American Forests

December 26 2013 Christmas 042

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.  The next best time is now. 

Chinese Proverb

December 26 2013 Christmas 057

National Arbor Day comes on  April 25, 2014, only a few days after Earth Day on April 22.

Planting trees, and participating in community activities to beautify public areas are traditional ways to celebrate these special days.  Trees are crucial to our survival on the planet, because they generate the oxygen we breathe.  They soak up ground water and rain water, using it for growth, and the releasing it as water vapor to the sky.  Trees absorb vast quantities of carbon dioxide from our air and fix the carbon in their wood and leaves.  They filter many other airborn elements out of the air each day, many of them toxic, leaving the air we breathe clean,moist, and full of life-giving oxygen.  They stop erosion, and maintain fertility in the soil

irene 014

Our neighborhood has lost many trees in recent years.  Two hurricanes and many strong thunderstorms have toppled many of our oldest, most beautiful trees over the last dozen years.  Although no one has been killed in their home from a falling tree, much property damage and expensive clean up has resulted from wind damage to our forest.

June 13 storm damaged trees 004

Neighbors, fearful for their homes, have had beautiful, healthy trees cut down entirely.  Others have realized that thinning and pruning allows the trees to withstand the wind, without destroying them.

I’ve spent several sleepless nights listening to trees groaning in hurricane force winds, wondering what trees might fall and where.

Destroying our trees is not the answer, however.  Management and stewardship of our beautiful forest maintains the beauty and character of our community, while protecting life and property.

August 21, 2013 close up garden 010

An important part of stewardship includes replanting the trees we have lost.

We can replace what’s been lost, wisely, to insure the forest remains for those who will follow us.

We can choose trees which don’t topple easily in the wind, plant shorter varieties which won’t fall on our homes, and place our new trees wisely in the garden.

We can select varieties which feed and shelter the many birds and butterflies who have shared this community with us, so their populations are supported.


Plant a tree. 

Learn how to get free trees from the Arbor Day Foundation

Help repopulate a forest in need.

All Photos by Woodland Gnome 2010-2014

More Tree Wisdom (Part 2)


Obsession: Botany, and Empire, As sen from Jamestown

About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

4 responses to “Tree Wisdom

  1. What a beautiful post on the glory of Trees! I’ve loved them as long as I can remember, since I was a kid and we used to go to Yosemite and other Parks for vacations. I remember making tree houses in our old mulberry trees in the back yard too. I figure I’ve planted thousands of trees in my life and am still at it, tho I’m at the age where I won’t ever see them in their mature fullness but I still keep planting for the future. What better gift can we leave our descendants than trees? You have a wonderful garden and a great perspective on gardening and I truly enjoy your blog a lot. I’m glad I found you. 🙂
    Take good care,

    • Dear Steve,

      I’m so glad we found each other’s blogs, too. It is always a comfort to find a kindred spirit. We add our own personal energy to every bit of life we plant in the soil, and so your spirit grows in beauty across the land where trees you have planted grow.
      Where are you able to plant so many trees? Are you involved in replanting the great forests cut by loggers in the Northwest? We have been sickened to see what has been done to the forests when visiting OR in recent years. Such a lack of awareness on the part of those who participate in destruction of the forests through clear-cutting. And now that we see the hillsides slipping away where the forests have been cut; such a preventable tragedy.
      Trees, healthy and planted where they can be allowed to mature, are one of the very best gifts to leave for future generations. Gardening, to me, must be in participation with the land and creatures already living on it. We assist nature- it is pointless to try to control her. So glad you enjoyed this post. May you walk in beauty. And I’m looking forward to enjoying more photos from your garden 😉 WG

  2. My husband and I planted nearly 200 trees at our old place (in Ohio). Now we’re starting over, with lots of trees already here, but also with ideas about how to add more once we get to know the land better. Another wonderful post, WG. 🙂

    • Thanks, Robin. Why am I not surprised that you have planted over 200 trees 😉 From the photos, your Shore property looks pretty wooded already. I would love to plant some live oaks here- they grow well in this area, and there are several around the College. They take a lot of space, but have such character 😉 Hope you’re well- WG

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