True Economic Value of a Tree

“God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools.”

-John Muir-

A tree is part of a larger community of living species that make what we refer to as a forest.  Each and every species of that forest community has a role in the healthy continuation of the forest.  The soil itself is a living organism that serves as a bed for the growth of trees.  The plants, animals, mosses, and the rotting fallen logs blanket the forest floor and in that chaos provide the trees with nutrients and protection.  The complexity of a forest’s diverse species is amalgamated by air water and sunshine in an interdependence not yet totally understood.   A natural forest is infused with eons of evolutionary resilience and regenerative capacity unmatched by any attempt at forest “management” and replanting.  The biodiversity that is the key to a healthy forest actually can be maintained by selective logging.  However, clear cutting utterly destroys the biodiversity and underlying regenerative capacity of the land to support a replanted forest area.

In terms of assessing their true value to the economy, trees are more than just timber there for reckless and indiscriminate harvesting.  Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air and store it within their trunks.  They are our natural air filters protecting the world from greenhouse gases.  Trees during the process of photosynthesis produce oxygen upon which we are totally dependent to survive.  The roots of trees inhibit erosion by clinging to the harshest of surfaces during the heaviest of rains.  Trees prevent flooding and landslides.  The action of drawing water up through their roots and out through their leaves slows the cycle of evaporation to rain and thusly improves weather.  A tree’s very presence offers shelter for countless life forms.  In its natural state a forest plays a huge role in the continued survival of mankind and all other living creatures.

It is time, without a doubt, that the true value of the natural resource of our forests worldwide be included in man’s concept of economics.  Our forests in their natural states should be a plus economically.  Further, when trees are harvested there should be a resultant minus economically.  It does not take the mind of a genius to know that more irreplaceable minuses than pluses will result in bankruptcy.

Today’s “stone”  Day 26  green chaos, mossy, vibrant, alive, pulse of life


4 thoughts

  1. Thank you once again, eldy. Logging is very big business in my state, and there is virtually no control over which areas get clear cut, and which get selectively harvested. With strong, renewable woods like bamboo, we have no reason to harvest maple of elk or oak or mahogany any more. But selfishness will out…

  2. Hi Eldy,
    I adore trees, and have a yard full of them!
    I came by to say hello today and to thank you for the comments you’ve made in the past…Just took me a while to get over here…Life slows us down sometimes. :-), which can be a good thing.
    I also hope you have a beautiful day, full of sun shine doing all the things you love.
    Have a great day, Eldy!
    Hugs, xx

  3. I’m a huge tree fan! (Well, a huge fan of trees of all sizes!) I was influenced by a book when I was young about the importance of planting and appreciating trees and taking care of the environment. I was lucky to grow up in the “recycling” and “Big Help” era of the 90s and wonder where these ideals went. Now, most things are made with plastic and it is much more difficult to wrap your head around the environmental impacts of that. Irresponsible logging is unforgivable and the results are very clear cut… I understand we live modern lives but there’s something about being in the forest, surrounded by things so much older than yourself, it puts me at peace and makes me feel more human and connected with everything than when I stand around plastic, metal and glass constantly 🙂 This is a great post, your entries always make me think!

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