Can you tell an oak from a maple? Can you recognize the scent of cedar? Our great-grandparents would have answered “of course.”
Today, though, many Americans are detached from the natural world; this alienation permeates some novels.
This post focuses on the bond between humans and trees. I hope readers, when worldbuilding, will remember that most societies connect to the Earth in a complex network of relationships.
In most cultures, trees have played a central role in religion and sometimes are sacred. Perhaps this reverence for trees derives ultimately from our ancestral arboreal life. Although hominids (ancient humans) moved to the ground more than 3.5 million years ago, modern humans still have nightmares of falling, and most societies stay close, physically and psychologically, to trees.
Traditionally, trees have provided food (fruits, nuts, seeds), shelter, shade, ingredients for medicines, and fuel for fires. Trees can be landmarks, shrines, pilgrimage destinations, trail markers, and boundary markers, etc. Large trees serve as meeting places.
Here’s a list of things to be considering:(depending on how your tree looks to be)
- Tree mulching – Mulching refers to the placement of any material on the ground around plants. Mulches can be divided into organic and inorganic materials. Organic mulches break down over time and become part of the soil, inorganic ones do not.
- Tree disease – for the most part caused by fungi, bacteria, and viruses, as well as factors of a nonliving nature. They cause large losses to agriculture and forestry, sometimes leading to the destruction of trees over large areas.
- Tree service – A local or international company who services tree & other related objects.
- Tree trimming – Removing branches & leaves which are not needed.
- Tree removal – Which should use an arborist, or (less commonly) arboriculturist, a professional in the practice of arboriculture, which is the cultivation, management, and study of individual trees, shrubs, vines, and other perennial woody plants. Arborists generally focus on the health and safety of individual plants and trees, rather than managing forests (the domains of forestry and silviculture) or harvesting wood.
- Tree health – “Tree health” as a discipline refers to the study of all factors (biotic and abiotic) that affect the vigour and productivity of a tree, as expressed by different symptoms and types of damage. The health of a tree can be expressed qualitatively by describing the symptoms or damage, or quantitatively through assessments of crown condition.
- Tree injections – The most important advancement for the tree care industry is the improvement of trunk injection methods in general, and specifically, two to three years of protection against borers following a single treatment. Trunk implants or trunk injection treatments have been used by a small but growing segment of the tree care industry since the 1970’s when Neely (1973) restored the color of iron-deficient pin oaks, and Kielbaso and Ottman (1976) successfully treated manganese-deficient red maples with trunk implant treatments.
The council tree of the Hollywood (Florida) Seminole Indian Reservation. This oak is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Unless you’ve seen an old-growth forest, it’s hard to imagine the trees our ancestors knew (tall as a ten-story building, or wider than a four-car garage). Old-growth forests contained many habitats and so teemed with life. Trees seemed immortal, with the same trees appearing in stories passed on for generations. No wonder that everywhere, trees awed people.