On my walk this morning through a neighborhood of old trees, some over a hundred years old, I headed through one block where the canopy covers like a rain forest and cools like a mountain stream. As I approached, unmistakable sounds of heavy equipment and saws broke the silence.
Another one and a half story home, built prewar, sold to be replaced with the newest rage, cathedral ceilings and marble; so the old white oak tree in its yard, towering over 80 feet above, was trimmed and removed … no replacement possible. An old story where money matters most.
Old trees, more than commodities, more than board feet, outlast the structures that replace them, but for the next fad or money making development on horizon, which always seems to be of more consequence than these towering testaments to life. Never mind the hundreds of species that depend on a tree of this size. Never mind that it will take another hundred years to replace. Never mind the shade and the oxygen it supplies. Never mind the peace and tranquility it provides, the forests and the streams that owe their existence to these monuments!
This old tree could have lived another hundred years providing shade and shelter for so many. It was not to be, though; because, you see, somebody needed to make money and that old tree was in the way. Mankind must have his cathedral ceilings to replace the true cathedrals in nature, while millions of trees die from drought in California, and millions more from short-sighted views concerning real worth. Money blinding and narrowing the view, there appears to be no value in the life of an old tree.
As a society may soon realize in our actions, only too late, that one generation plants the trees that the next generation will enjoy; and, that we are quickly destroying our base.