Trees. I think they’re wonderful! Trees in the city, still wonderful but they do seem to have a rougher deal.
No rich soil around them, no pure darkness, no real clusters like in woodlands and forests. And yet many do adapt and thrive, at least from what we see in our lifetimes.
There is no doubt that trees add to our environment, and our health, but just how reciprocal is our relationship?
We put them where we want them in the city, where they ‘look right’. Studies have shown that trees do actually work as a team to help the same species grow. Very often, trees in the city are planted in neat rows, spaced apart from one another, so there’s no real room for comradery.
Like humans if we were left alone, we would want to expand our roots and find friends, so do trees. In the process, they inadvertently damage pavements, water pipes or any other constricting structure in their way.
Yet we seem to take this as a personal vendetta and trap the roots further in cages or other such restrictive things.
I’d say the relationship isn’t very reciprocal at all. Trees aren’t here to look pretty, they create powerful ecosystems, cleanse our air and add to the food chain. And what do we do? Chop them, shape them and restrict them.
Not just in cities but across the world. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had woodlands in our towns and cities, spaces where trees, and wildlife, could truly thrive. Cultivated areas of soil, left to its own devices, could generate the sort of green space, and I mean truly green not just grass and plant pots, that we all benefit from.
Trees have been around for millions of years without our infrastructure and will be here for millions more years I am sure. They are magnificent in both scale and complexity but let’s not forget that, just as humans weren’t designed to fly, trees weren’t destined for city living.