Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I Really Am A Tree Lover

Why I Love Trees

Regardless of the rants I have posted here before about all the extreme, fear mongering, tree-hugging, earth worshipping, hand-wringing, industry hating, bottled water drinking, global greening, sterilized liberal environmental happycrap, I really am a TREE LOVER. Trees are a wonderful part of God’s creation.
  • Trees make good shelters from the wind and shade from the hot summer sun.
  • You can stretch a hammock between two trees growing close together
  • A good mature tree in your back yard can be a fun place for kids to climb, swing, and build a tree house.
  • If you cut it down, you can use the remaining stump as a pedestal for an outdoor table.
  • Chopped and stacked trees make good fuel to keep us warm in the winter.
  • Trees provide lumber to build homes.
  • They are good for holding up strings of Christmas lights.
  • Trees are at their best when they are transformed by skilled craftsmen into fine furniture, paneled walls or polished gun stocks.
What I Learned About Trees On The Road To Washington

On one of my many trips from southern California to Washington State, I tuned my radio to a talk show broadcasting from Boise, Idaho. The host was in dialogue with a city employee whose job it was to water the city's trees. I believe the caller stated that they maintained about 35,000 city owned trees and that no trees grew naturally in the region before people started settling in the area. Following that conversation, several things occurred to me about trees.

Privately owned trees in any city probably outnumber city owned trees by at least twenty to one, if not much more. I have no data to support that but I would think my estimate is very conservative, considering private and commercial landscaping, tree farms, groves and orchards. Anyway, it is safe to assume that there may be in excess of a million trees in the city of Boise, none of which existed before PEOPLE settled there.

People plant trees where they live. Except for a few mountainous areas on the route to eastern Washington, most of the terrain is high desert or high plains; miles and miles of nothing but sagebrush and wild grasses as far as the eye can see in every direction but very few trees (There was one lone tree along the highway, miles from nowhere, that I stopped at a few times. It was mutually beneficial; I was relieved and it was watered). I noticed that whenever I spotted a large group of trees on the horizon, usually a small town was located under them. People do not always locate where trees are but trees generally grow where people live. Johnny Appleseed was a real character in our history who traveled the country planting apple trees wherever he went. There are more trees on our continent today than there were when the Pilgrims first set foot on Plymouth Rock.

The Agricultural Value of Trees

Virgin forests are not nearly as dense as those forests where timber harvesting occurs. Trees planted on purpose are planted close together. In other words, where people harvest trees, there are many times more trees than in naturally occurring forests.

For those of you who think you are helping to preserve trees by refusing to use fresh cut Christmas trees, here is a news flash. Using artificial trees will NOT rescue one single tree from the loggers’ chainsaws. Should the entire population refuse to buy fresh cut trees, there would actually be millions fewer trees. Why? Because trees are a marketable commodity. Farmers who cannot sell their crops would destroy them to make room to grow more profitable crops like tobacco or marijuana or even barley hops for beer.

An unused tree is a wasted tree. A forest of unused trees is a travesty. Forests, properly managed and harvested, produce renewable resources. The only difference between groves of trees and a field of corn is the time required to bring the crop to harvest.

Preventing the harvesting of forests to protect the habitat of a bird is like firing your gardener to protect a grasshopper. The bird will come back to a new tree just like the grasshopper will come back after you mow the lawn.

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