The complexity of nature is compelling. Trees themselves provide rich services to our ecosystem and contribute to our livelihoods by providing oxygen. Trees also carry their own personal histories that are shaped by their specific geographic location. They each encounter distinct experiences and no tree is alike. Similar to the notion that all people are different. Nuanced characteristics of each tree contribute to their perceived value and worth.
A few weeks ago the Horiculture department emphasized the economic value of a few trees by posting info-graphics.
Red Oak is shown to provide $990 worth of benefits over 10 years and environmental benefits are also highlighted. I was surprised that the red oak would only “give back” $990. The red oak’s contribution to social well-being is not included in this calculation. Including this factor would increase its value. This tree and many others can induce emotional and wellness benefits that are difficult to measure.
I pass by this tree frequently and have seen it change. Noticing gradual changes led to wonder and appreciation for the dynamic aesthetic value of the tree. Additionally, with the initiation of spring, the re-emergence of leaves stimulated feelings of freshness based on the smell of vegetation that this tree contributes to. The value of this tree is significantly higher than reported. Our personal experiences with individual trees raise their worth as we develop memories with them.
I was very excited to help plant trees in Freeville New York for a Cornell reforestation project today. Maple, Oak, and Locust trees were planted throughout a field.
I planted about 40 Locust trees! I’d never planted anything before, so I was very excited to get an opportunity. Volunteers were beginning to implement different deer management strategies to prevent deer from eating the leaves. Deer leaf consumption of newly planted trees inhibits the trees’ growth and development. Discovering which strategy is most effective can provide insight for future reforestation projects in areas where there are abundant deer.
This experience inspired me to create the fashion illustration below to convey the complexity of a Locust tree from the leaves,stems, roots, and interaction with the environment.