Monday, April 9, 2012

Thoughts on trees

Arboretum: "tree-garden," 1838, from L. arboretum, lit. "a place grown with trees"  ~

How does a place become an arboretum as opposed to a forest?

The difference must lie in the spaces between the trees. The garden, the lawn, the paths where one can stand and contemplate the contrast between tree and not-tree. In the forest, such distinctions blur into canopies and shadows. All is tree.

I like forests. I like trees in their unlabelled, unclassified state. Arboretums are tree-zoos: spaces to preserve and exhibit a waning kingdom.

In a perfect world, suburbs would not exist and cities would be ringed with forests.

In an imperfect world, we have cities with arboretums and I live in the suburbs.

If I could choose, I'd rather live in the arboretum. The suburbs come in shades of beige and they don't smell like spring.


  1. the photos are gorgeous.
    and the writing is full of imagery.

  2. I just read a sort of photo book about trees (some Irish man's book of his favorite trees in the UK, but the title escapes me at the moment.) I like that you "like trees"--they can be something so easy to pass up, but when you really stop and look (or notice when they are missing in a suburban sprawl, for instance) trees are quite nice to have around...just some more thoughts on trees. Always nice to see/read your musings on the natural world!