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Information, stories and myths relating to trees.

tree stories for the wooden hearted


There are a few environmental facts of life that should be kept in mind as you read this website and try to apply its ideas.

Nothing actually disappears when we throw it away. Physical laws tell us that matter cannot be created nor destroyed. Once we throw something away we are returning it to the biosphere from which it originally came. The accumulation of material that we dump back into' the environment is a cause of many of our problems.

Some of the animal behaviourists trace this human trait back to the apes, who live in trees and can let their excrement and litter drop into the void below. Compare their behaviour to that of the contemporary litterbug. Even the responsible citizen flushes most of his waste down a toilet or drain, or throws it into a rubbish bin that gets emptied by the refuse disposal department. Out of sight, out of mind.

The problem is especially severe with the urban dweller, for he is even more remote from his sources of supply than he is from the sewers that absorb his waste. Water flows in apparently unlimited quantities out of a tap; food comes prepared and, packaged from the local supermarket) He never has to worry about the three pounds of cow manures that gets produced out on the farm for every two pints of milk he kings home. Once he had to haul coal and hoard his supply of lamp oil. Now his energy supply flows silently into the home through pipes and wires. Beyond the thought of a monthly or quarterly bill, the consumer has littler incentive to conserve. Thus it is small wonder that there is a severe waste problem threatening our land and water resources.

All systems and problems are ultimately if not intimately interrelated. It is important that this principle be kept in mind, because steps that are taken to solve one problem tend to have consequences that spill over into other areas. Technology, which has been successful largely through focusing attention on limited problems, has a distressing tendency to ignore this principled.

To be valid, technical solutions to environmental problems must be based on an appreciation of the complexity of the relevant ecosystems and must attack the root causes, not the symptoms. To illustrate, man dumps most of his sewage into watercourses at the same time that he is mining minerals and fixing nitrogen from the air to replenish the soil. If instead, this so-called 'waste' were returned to the soil as the fertilizer that it is, the poisoning of our waters with artificial fertilizer run-off, and their subsequent eutrophication, could both be alleviated.

The motor car also offers a dramatic illustration of this interrelatedness. Consider the major polluting industries involved. Petroleum, steel, mining, rubber, textiles, cement, and plastics are all clearly related to the car. Consider also air pollution, congestion of the courts with liability claims, urban noise, and traffic jams, and highways that destroy urban character and countryside. Striking a blow at this monster obviously will have wide-ranging effects.

In similar ways one sees that the open space, food, population, and pollution crises are inextricably tied up with urban decay, poverty, crime, and war. It doesn't make sense to squabble over which crisis is most urgent; we cannot afford the luxury of solving problems one by one. That is both obsolete and ecologically unsound anyway.
We live on a planet whose resources are finite.


During the past few centuries it appeared that the resources of the land, water, and minerals were inexhaustible. This was encouraged by the prevailing Judeo-Christian ethic, and it was not until Malthus that people really began to question it. Air and water were common property ands could be treated as the individual wished. More recently we have seen that even the capacity of the air and water has its limits when it comes to absorbing all of the by-products of man's high standard of living.

Most of us still place faith, however, in the infiniteness of the Earth's resources The ocean, we believe, will continue to absorb all of the sewage We pump into it and, at the same  time, provide: new sources of enormous quantities of food. The fact is, we have badly overharvested many of the commercially important ocean fish and the Atlantic Salmon is near extinction The ecologically important marshes and wetlands have been so drastically reduced by `reclamation' and 'development' that populations of fish are decreasing.
The limits to non-renewable resources are not just the physical limits of their natural abundance in the Earth's crust, atmosphere or oceans. There are also practical limits of cost of extraction, amount of energy used in extraction how fast it can be extracted, the availability of extractive technology, and so on. We can extend our mineral reierves by putting up the price, extracting lower concentration of ores, improving extraction techniques or recycling materials. after use But we cannot do this while consumption continues to rise. The rate of demand is now so great that it will quickly overtake any possibilities of extending reserves through new discoveries or the application of technological improvements.

Nature has spent literally millions of years refining a stable ecosystem. Her systems are complex and, precisely because of their complexity, they are able to absorb a. great many of man's insults.

The most sophisticated computer models that men have devised can only roughly simulate the complex interactions and feedback networks of nature's simplest systems, let-alone the ecology of a river under pollution stress. Present scientific method isolates and focuses the attention on subsystems. It thus tends to generate over-simplified solutions, and also leads man to try to simplify his environment so that he can better 'control" it. In so doing, he makes the environment more vulnerable to the natural stresses and human miscalculations that are bound to occur.

Based on its recent track record, it would probably be wise to rein in technology until the technologists gain a better understanding of how their systems are interacting with natural systems. There is a vast inner frontier behind the leading edge of modern technology that begs for exploration. It is more likely that many of the practices man has developed to control the environment for his betterment have alternatives which are more ecologically sound. Biological control of insect pests offers an alternative to chemical control, to give one example. More often than not it makes sense to work with nature.

Biological variety is the essence of survival. If man is to survive he needs a rich and varied environment not only to supply his clothes, shelter, and food, but his psychological and social needs as well.



Ash trees

Ash trees threatened

Forestry Commission England warns of threat posed by the Chalara fraxinea fungus


Enviroment and helping UK Forests

National Tree Week event - Take part in tree planting in East Park, Wolverhampton

Woodland Craft

Woodland Craft
Join the Park Rangers for some woodland management and crafts including coppicing

Community Trees

Community Tree Planting
Join in a planting at Brent River Park of over 400 trees


More from the web on trees

About Me




The Woodland Trust


The UK's leading woodland conservation charity. Help us plant trees, protect woods and inspire people to enjoy the nature on their doorstep.

Local UK big trees from The Tree Register www.treeregister.org/

UK big trees, a record of ancient and historical tree information in the Britich Isles from The Tree Register.


Native Tree List UK www.the-tree.org.uk/

Native Tree List UK. talk@the-tree.org.uk.


Tree nursery UK - buy trees online


One of the longest established silvicultural tree nurseries in the UK, with over 6 million traceable native trees available to buy online for delivery across the UK.

Recommended reading

Forestry Commission - tree name trail


A key to common trees found in Britain. Trees can be divided into two main groups: those that have flattened and wide leaves (known as broadleaves) and those ...

Arboricultural Association


Promotes care and knowledge of trees in the UK. Details of activities, members, and journal.


English Oak Trees

Information about English Oak trees, the beginning of the encyclopedia of life starting with the English Oak Tree, The Oaks life history, their conservation and ...


Trees for Life


A Scottish conservation charity dedicated to the regeneration and restoration of the Caledonian Forest in the Highlands of Scotland
























Hampton Court Flower Show

I went along to the Hampton Court Flower Show this year and was stunned to discover that a visit there could make the sick well again. Well, maybe not. However, I did see people, who had spent all day being pushed around in a wheelchair, up walking and pushing their own wheelchairs.

The impetus for this was, of course, the great sell off at the close of the show. Father was walking through the show ground cradling his baby in his arms, whilst mother followed with the pushchair laden with plants. Granny, who had benefited from resting in her wheelchair as she moved around the show, found it was an ideal way to get her lilies and agapanthus back to the carpark. Once out of the showground the sights were enough to make a gardener cringe, trees, agapanthus, eremurus and lilies sticking out of the sun roofs of dozens of cars on their way to the M3.

Other had folded up plants as best they could so that they would travel on the bus and underground. Then there is the safe bet that many of the plants acquired will not have been planted for several days, nor watered, nor put out of the sun. When will people learn that a bargain is only a bargain if you can get the plant home alive and in one piece... otherwise it is just so much compost.

More at Hampton Court Flower Show