Trees and humans share things in common that we may not even realize. Thus, both of them are relational beings. And they need a host of other living organisms to reproduce, grow, and keep ongoing.
Meanwhile, the strong connection that humans have with trees might be because they share similar physical attributes. For example, we stand straight with a crown on top and mobile limbs stemming from a central trunk. Thus, the bronchi (tubular branches) pattern in our lungs is similar to the root system of several trees.
For example, trees have established associations beneath the rich forest soil since the beginning of time with tiny filamentous fungi. These cleave to the root of trees and stretch their systems. That enables them to extract nutrients and water from the soil and transport it to the highest leaves. Potassium, nitrogen, phosphorus, and several others are involved. In exchange, the fungi get a piece of the energy produced by the tree photosynthesis. Thus, an entire network of interconnections, concealed from our eyes, reflects and broadens below our feet: the organic internet.
Above the ground, several trees and shrubs – the hawthorn, the wild plum, the cherry tree, the serviceberry, also need breeding insects. Without these moderate but essential critters to feed on their flowers, there’s no plant regeneration and exchange of pollen.
Trees also exchange much chemical information amongst themselves. For example, when pastured by hungry deer, several young tree stems will discharge eruptive organic compounds notifying their colleagues in the community. That will enhance the tannin level of their foliage, thereby making them less attractive to herbivores.
Trees minister to the soul of humans
These two sets of beings share lovely and exciting things, and the way they relate is crucial and unique. Besides being a habitat for birds or something to behold, trees help us breathe. Humans take in air, which contains oxygen. Every other animal, including people, needs oxygen to survive. Our body uses the oxygen once we breathe in, along with sugar that we consume while eating.
Just as cars ride on fuel, the energy produced is what we use to survive. That process is known as respiration. In the process of respiration, both oxygen and gas called carbon dioxide are produced. When we exhale, we release the carbon dioxide produced into the air.
On the other hand, plants, including trees, take in carbon dioxide, which is unusable to humans, to produce their energy. Therefore, plants are referred to as producers, implying that they build their energy and stay alive without even eating.
There’s no doubt that trees have possessed the human imagination from time immemorial. Trees have a strength that is deeply embedded in the earth which serves as a source of inspiration. Also, their branches and trunks are one of nature’s wonders because they stand solid and incomprehensible most times. Yet, they can sway and flex as the wind needs them to at any time.
A cooperative exhibition on trees
Similar to trees, humans are relational, harmonious beings. An exhibition, three for trees, was presented until 31st of October at the Frederic Back Tree Pavilion. Physician François Reeves, biologist Michel Leboeuf, and painter Allain Massicotte, had a close dialogue. And the trialogue was to exchange material and ideas.
To bring it off and showcase it well, they needed other individuals. That includes the Tree Pavilion to the Jadin Botanique and museology students and their tutors from college Montmorency. An organic, cooperative method, just like what happens deep in the woods between living things.
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