Trees stand tall next to each other, and do not grow as tall when perched alone. The conventional wisdom is that trees outgrow each other, in quest of sunlight and to cast shade on the other nearest trees.
The problem with this idea is that it puts our human attributes onto trees.
In the taiga, the forests of Siberia, the forest is only healthy when mixed and close together: the birch is an important neighbour of the pine, for during the Summer the birch tree the birch supplies sugar and carbon to the pine through a network of roots, and using the roots of mushrooms as well in the link-up between the trees. In the winter, the pine thus nourishes the birch tree.
This is only but one facet of what has recently been termed the "Wood Wide Web."
Perhaps the pagan worship of trees is not one that sits well in this so-called modern post industrial world, but the veneration of the role of trees sits well with me.
These gentle giants remind us what it means to co-operate as a society, and when sitting in a forest taking in that serene scent of the surrounding atmosphere, it is that sense that is infused as well; the sense of community.
for a moment imagine
no petals, blossoms, pine needles
no fresh, fragrant air
no trees to shelter or inspire
just the concrete sidewalk...