wordless wednesday with words (aka: let us talk about trees… )

I’ve written about trees before.  Trees I’ve loved. And my love of trees.

Trees that replace old (tree) friends.

And I’ve occasionally ‘not reviewed’ books about trees… a couple of my favourites are mentioned here. Also here.

Of course I adore the Tree of the Week feature in The Toronto Star and the way trees are these subtle but enormous parts of our lives that we hardly even think about until someone asks.

So I’m asking.

What’s your tree history?

For instance, was there a beloved tree in your childhood? Was it a pear tree and did you read Nancy Drew and eat potato salad in it? Did your father knock down the apricot tree at the end of your driveway because he stepped on the gas instead of the brake, after which your mother no longer made apricot jam because she never found apricots that were as good as her own? Did you read James Michener in a quiet leafy park while eating stolen peaches from a nearby orchard? Do you have any tree stories at all that don’t involve fruit?

Feel free to share even the tiniest wee memory.

Also… I would love to know what I’m missing in the way of literature where trees feature prominently, including kid lit, poetry, and essays.

if you were a tree, what tree would you be?




10 thoughts on “wordless wednesday with words (aka: let us talk about trees… )

  1. When I was a child we had a large peach tree in our yard. It yielded a HUGE harvest every year and because the branches hung over our neighbours garage all the local kids would climb onto the roof to steal the peaches. They were yummy so the risk of falling was well worth it! I love trees, not just for their harvest but for their majesty and tranquility.

    1. Speaking as a former peach thief I’m kinda sorry I didn’t live near you, ha!

      Fresh off the tree fruit is such a treat. (What’s a few broken bones?) I grew up surrounded by orchards (literally; there was one across the road) and fruit trees in our yard. Could be why I can’t eat that stuff from the grocery store that’s travelled ten thousand miles. I’ll bet you’re the same, certainly where peaches are concerned. Thank you for this… (by the way I’m now thinking of nothing but peaches… there’s a local place that cans their fruit and their peaches are amazing; hope they still have some left; may be popping by soonish.) (:

  2. We have a tree in our back yard , it is a red maple . It is soooo big and the leaves that fill my back yard in the fall make me so upset with it , it’s like a child who spilled its milk all over your just washed floor . No matter how upset with it I still love it . This tree has a name ,” Teacher Tree “‘ When the wind blows its beautiful crown moves from one side to another as if it is so happy and must show me this . When my granddaughter was very small and the weather was so warm I would create plays for her and I to act out together in . When we finished we would stand and look at The Teacher Tree and bow . The tree always seem to know what we were looking for , yes we waited for her to show us how pleased she was with our performance . She always moved her leaves so nicely , and we always felt so loved by this tree . I miss those days . Teacher Tree still stands , but the plays have stopped .

    1. That you gave this tree such a respectful name… that’s really quite something. Eyes welled up a bit as I read. And what a special memory for your granddaughter (and lesson too, that we are all part of the same planet). And the way you describe it, I can feel your connection to this tree… these tiny things can mean so much, they change us if we let them, and we’re forever better somehow. Lucky you. Lucky granddaughter. Your Teacher Tree must be so proud. Thank you for sharing this. I’ll think of it often…

  3. From Barbara:

    If I could be a tree I would be a Ponderosa Pine. I would let the needles sing my songs to children falling asleep.

    This pine is/was my favourite childhood tree. It still stands. My Dad cut well place bottom branches part way off when I was tree-climbing age, so I could climb into it and then go on up on the real branches. I once sat up there way at the top (or so it felt) and spied on some boys who came over with their Dad to see my dad. They were high class boys, so to speak, who went to a classy boy’s school in Vernon (which later closed because of a scandal (you can guess) and wore short grey pants and white shirts and ties even on that visit to a farming neighbour. I don’t remember taking a book up there ever but I loved sitting there and surveying the world from on high. The tree is still there as I said, screening the lake, from my study window in Penticton. I have a few photos of baby owls sitting together on a branch looking like cuddling kittens.

    1. I wonder if your dad (or indeed any of those ‘high class boys’ knew you were up there!). What a wonderful feeling it must have been to be so removed and yet connected. Your opening line, by the way, is beautiful. It feels like the first line of a book I’d love to read. I’m so happy to know that tree is still there for you to see… No doubt it’s filled with an abundance (a lifetime!) of good energy. And I’ll bet those owls feel it. Thank you for this, B.

  4. When I was growing up there was a huge Norway Maple tree in our front yard. Some people curse them for the mess they make; leaves and seed pods seem to drop almost year round and they throw up shoots all over the place. But I see them as a magnificent statement of nature’s ability to provide shade and beauty and a resting spot for birds and other animals.

    My brother and his friends built a tree house in our maple tree; it was rustic and creaked and groaned in the wind but my father deemed it safe and it became a popular place to play, sleep in and to hang out. As I entered my teens I made the wonderful discovery that if I slept out there with friends we could easily slip out late in the night to meet up with friends to wander the town, feeling very naughty and adventurous. Eventually we grew out of the novelty of these adventures, the house was sold and we all moved on, but the tree house remained for many decades in the arms of that lovely maple.

    1. There’s one on our street; I can see it as I type this. Not as big as yours by the sound of it but I know what you mean about the leaves, seemingly at all times of year, and the pods. From now on I’ll think less about that and more about your treehouse. (And your cheeky monkey escapes into town. You were never caught, I’m guessing. Safely back in the tree by morning, ha! What a great image. Including the creaking of it in the wind.) Thank you so much for changing my view of Norway maples forever…

  5. In the clearing beside our cottage were two pines so tall they touched the clouds. The only branches were at the top so I don’t know how our father climbed so high to attach a rope swing for us, but he did. The seat was a notched board and the rope so long that we would set off from the top of the woodpile and pendulum-swing and swing and swing.

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