Ostomy Memories of Trees


A COUPLE FROM SOUTH FLORIDA moved into my neighborhood a few years ago.  They weren’t there long when they had three large trees taken out of their yard.  I asked her why.  She said she was afraid that one of the trees might fall on her house.  I wondered why she hadn’t bought a home that wasn’t surrounded by trees, similar to south Florida where builders seem to clear cut everything before putting in homes.  “Suburbia,” wrote Bill Vaughan, “is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them.”  Fortunately, where I live in north Florida, trees are treated more respectfully.  My home is bounded by large trees on all sides and, though I confess to some anxiety on those occasions when hurricanes come close, I would consider it sacrilege to take out a tree unless it was provably diseased.  Although I’m not so far gone that I secretly worship trees in some warped sort of naturalistic pantheism, I do admit that, were reincarnation real, I’d like to return to life as a live oak.  So I admit to being a so-called tree hugger, just like Woody Allen, who quipped:  “As the poet said, ‘Only God can make a tree’ – probably because it’s so hard to figure out how to get the bark on.”

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What is up with people removing trees? Pave paradise put up a parking lot- take all the trees put em' in a tree museum charge all the people a dollar and a half just to see em' - sad but true. Even in the north woods of Wisconsin they are cutting them down right and left for some new business' parking lot - breaks my heart. jb

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Hello HenryM.

When I was a child, I read the story about some bloke who had planted acorns in a desert and got them to grow into a forest.  From that story I decided that on my birthday each year I would collect the number of acorns equivalent to the number of years old I was and plant them on the many walks I used to embark upon. I can now walk along those same tracks and admire the trees that have grown from those little acorns of yesteryear. 

I often feel a pang of resentment when developers deem to name their monstrous destruction of wild habitat after the very thing they have destroyed.

A friend of mine moved to a place called Merlin Close in a small village called Sandy. So, I thought this deserved a rhyme to remind Martin that he was now part of the problem.

Best wishes





Once there were some Merlins.
That flew o’er Sandy shore.
But now there’s Sandy Martin.
And Merlins fly no more.


Birds become just street names.
As habitat gives way.
To human’s homes and people’s games.
They say they need to play. 


Cricket, football, racing cars.
Crazy golf and shops.
Workers, commuters from afar.
Criminals and cops.


Everyone must have a home.
They all demand their space.
To celebrate is built a dome.
- Another man-made place.


Build and build and build, feel free.
As far as you can see.
It’s destiny, an irony.
The HQ of RSPB.


Let’s build on up the road a bit.
On to some Scottish glen.
It will on some fair farmland fit.
Please don’t ask why, - just when.


                                    B. Withers (2000)


Hi Henry just down the road from where i live used to be a beautiful old chestnut tree, its not there anymore due to road construction and new storm water collection system, i asked one of the workers why they took it down and he said so the machinery could work around the area easier. That really pissed me off but i,m glad i had picked some of the nuts and planted themwhile out walking our other dog.

Reply to Bill

What a magnificent idea come to fruition!

Walking through the trees you planted from acorns....wow!

Reply to CircleC

hello CircleC.

Thanks for your comment, However, i perhaps should point out that planting acorns is a relatively hit & miss affair so I don't exactly walk through the trees like I might in the vision of the bloke's 'forest'.  I calculated that about only 2 percent of my acorns actually grew into trees. However, about 10 years ago I realised that if I planted the acorns in pots and tended them for a year or so, then I could get a much better yield, and this led to me planting the saplings rather than just poking the acorns into the ground. These mini-trees were mostly planted along hedgerows that were not cut back and they did quite well.  I found it fascinating that oak trees tend to grow quite rapidly for the first 10 years and after that the growth seems to slow and the trees only gradually become more mature. I believe that the majority of them will never really be mature oaks in my lifetime. This makes me feel good to think that I have maybe left a legacy for future generations to enjoy (if they are not destroyed by humans by way of climate change). Acorns are not the only things I plant as I also collect a variety of wild-flower seeds each year and plant them in suitable spots where previously there were none.  This indulgence produces results much quicker than trees and I do feel smug when fellow walkers comment on how wonderful it all looks.

Sometimes in life there is not much we can do about the 'big-stuff', but there are some things that can be undertaken by individuals that can make a difference at a micro-level.

One of the activities I gain most satisfaction from is when I can pick a bunch of my own grown wild-flowers and present them to an isolated vulnerable person. The gratitude shown from such actions is absolutely priceless and the knowledge that none of these acts costs anything other than time and effort has much more impact than any monetary outlay.

These types of activities are available to anyone, anytime, anywhere. 

Best wishes


Reply to Justbreathe

At the time I thought that was a Protest and not the Goal ...which it apparently has become in too many places !In Ireland the Govt gave seedlings toFarmers and landowners free of charge to try to rebuild the lost forests. Irish Oak was used to build much of the British War Fleet of Ships when Ireland was occupied by Britain . Most of the Forests were decimated . A British General named Oliver Cromwellsaidof my County , Mayo , Ireland, " Not a Tree to hang a Man from and not a bit of dirt to bury him in !!" (he hanged them anyway !!) . The forests are returning but many are fast growing Pines and are harvested for wood pulp and furniture .

The Pearl in the Oyster !!Is ... Farmers took way more trees than they could plant for harvest . To get the payment theSaplings had to be in the groundso they cut down the spacing between trees to plant as many as possible . They mixed Hardwoods with Softwoods and wrecked the Harvesting plans . This worked out just great for Nature !! There are lots of New Forest that will not ( cannot ) be cutso they get my vote !!!We are slowly getting our Forests back !!


Trees are the " Lungs of the Planet "and that is so true , like Oysters in wateror Wetlands on the Coast....they makeLife itself possiblein our World .

MyCalifornia Coast Redwood and my Giant Sequoia are thriving in our mild Irish climate...about Two Feet tall !!!...they Love it here . They should grow for about1,000Years, up to300 feet !!!If left alone and not vandalized by some Real Estate developer !!!I will plant them on my Sister's family property out in the countryside ,which will remain in her family . I have three Apple trees and a Pear Treebut almost no fruit this year , same for many fruit trees , maybe it was our amazingly hot Summer ...felt like the Caribbean for two months!!!

Off on a tangent again !! ...Magoo



Reply to Bill

One of my favorites !


How appropriate that I am reading this post just after returning from my walk in the forest. I'm at my island home right now. My walk calmed me and lifted my spirits. I think cutting down trees needlessly is sacrilege. In most of the municipalities that make up Metro Vancouver, you need a license from the city in order to cut down a tree on your own property, and you don't get one without a pretty good reason. Builders and developers also can't just clear- cut their properties before erecting their houses or apartments. I'm not sure what the exact rules are, but consideration needs to be given to existing trees.


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