Crainn Mór, le do Thoil
Trees are the creators and maintainers of our reality. They are guardians, on an ecological, biological, and objectively scientific level. Here's some amazing facts about trees:
1. They maintain the balance of water, oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
2. Large areas of woodland and forest modify and stabilse humidity and rainfall, reduce wi nd speeds and maintain climatic stability. (The Amazon Basin creates the climate for the whole of the Western Hemisphere).
3. Woodland is cooler in summer and warmer in winter than its surroundings.
4. Trees give shade from strong sunlight, shelter from wind, and reduce the heaviness of rainfall, protecting local environments.
5. Tree root systems maintain water levels by absorbing tons of water that would otherwise run off, and transpiring tons of water vapour into the air, reducing evaporation from the ground. (The excessive droughts and floods of the last few years were mainly due to reduced tree cover).
6. Root systems bind the topsoil together preventing erosion by wind and water.
7. Trees create topsoil. Roots break up subsoil and rock layers, absorb mineral nutrients not normally available at ground level, and release them into the topsoil with leaf-fall and decay.
8. Trees provide shelter, food and eco-stability to thousands of other species, including humankind.
9. Trees are amazing!
So take another look at a tree, perhaps as a long-lived visitor from another planet might do. Look at the tree in terms of its whole life cycle. As a tiny seed and then a seedling, it starts to accumulate energy and then transmutes the energies of light, water, air and earth. It accumulates power within its structure. As it grows, more energy is concentrated and that energy can remain stable here for many hundreds of years. Each tree is seen as a stable energy field in an ever-changing environment. As the tree eventually ages and dies, it releases the accumulated energy slowly back into the earth where it can once again be accessed. We could visualise this process as if each tree were a point of life or warmth, an energy generator, radiating the transformed energies of sun and earth. Looking down on a landscape we would see it alive and sustained by the stable energy of trees.
If you have an interest in solutions to providing food and shelter for now and the future, or are interested in forestry and woodlands or permaculture, there is now available a series of books and publications produced by Agroforestry Research Trust, a registered charity in England. The list of publications includes directories of plants, trees, shrubs, algae and fungi, all specifically for temperate climates. They also produce a quarterly journal called "Agroforestry News" (what else?!), which highlights such topics as grafting, seed-collecting and treatment, in-depth analysis of certain trees, book reviews, pests and diseases, and much more.
For further info, write to:
Agroforestry Research Trust, 46 Hunter's Moon, Dartington, Totnes, Devon, T29 6JT