Before reading Finding the Mother Tree, and The Hidden Life of Trees, I wanted our forest to be pretty, park like, and tidy.
I spent the past two springs working hard, with park visions in my mind. This work had to be done by early to mid May, when that dreaded poison ivy plant would emerge and very quickly blanket this part of the forest floor.
I busied myself trimming trees, clipping saplings, and removing anything dead or estheticly unpleasant.
After reading these two, very informative books, I’ve come to realize that what I have removed from the forest belongs in the forest.
This past week I’ve walked, where the poison ivy does not rule, and have made my peace with the unnecessary cutting and cleaning done by my hands.
Next spring, when new seedlings sprout and bloom, my little piece of forest will be quite different. It will allowed to develop, and move to its own groove.
I just finished reading The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben, and discovered what trees feel and how they communicate. In Wohlleben’s work, his research follows the science of, Canadian, Suzanne Simard whose story is told in her book, Finding the Mother Tree. These two books have taught me so much about my little forest, which I have separated into three parts. The first being The Planted Forest.
This part of our forest was planted. I had brought home a couple of bundles of spruce saplings from a tree nursery where I had seasonal employment. My father stopped by and planted these little spruts in the northeast corner of our property. His work being interrupted as he had to rescue two, adventurous, three year olds. Returning them to their moms, after they had left the backyard and were traveling down the road to visit their dads at work.
He planted these seeding, in straight rows. They bordered on a much taller pine forest that had been planted years earlier by the Ministry of Natural Resources. He planted these trees thirty-five years ago.
Left unattended, these seedlings grew into trees. The forest becoming the beautiful sanctuary it is today. Occasionally they gave one of their own to adorn our living room at Christmas time.
This past year I have spent a lot of time in this part of the forest. I trimmed branches and removed dead trees.
I’ve learned from reading this past week, that forests allowed to develop on their own provide for one another, and communicate with one another.
Trees planted by people remain individuals, growing independently. They will age, but not to the years of those left to naturalize on their own.
I went back into this forest today. I sat on my bench. It is made from the branches of the cedar tree on the opposite side of our property. I contemplated, what would these trees be like if they communicated with one another?