Tree Farm

So I was talking to a gentlemen who somewhat smugly claimed ‘I don’t use paper’, I had to question whether he was against tree farmers.   I mean that’s what paper companies do right, they grow trees, cut them and make paper while planting more trees.  This process repeats at a rate that sustains their future business or they lose out.  That makes perfect sense to me.   Unfortunately for my sense, I work with a smart engineer who while telling him my logic, pointed out how wrong I am on the matter.  I was not thinking right…

It starts like this —The trees provide us humans a lot of things:

  • Food in the form of fruits, nuts and various tree-made ingredients and spices
  • Warmth as firewood, coal, various oil based energy.
  • Odd and useful chemicals as medicines and industrial products.  Rubber, Quinine– so many really.
  • Oxygen to breath.
  • Shade and construction materials.

So from that input we give trees:

  • CO2 to make strong trunks and big leaves
  • Firefighters to make sure they don’t burn
  • Protection areas to make sure they grow unhindered
  • Active planting of new trees and insect blocking pesticides to insure their continued bloodlines

And in exchange for these amazing services, when we die, they eat us! 

So, he explained, I’ve had it all wrong — the trees are the ones farming us.

It’s so clear now.






4 thoughts on “Tree Farm

  1. It’s what biologists call a “commensal” relationship. It’s sort of a ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’. Of course in this case one actor isn’t really awake.
    It’s another point that many plants that people use can’t exist by themselves- they’ve been heavily crossbred or modified that in the wild, if they can even reproduce, the breeding gets diluted swiftly.

    Or the fact that real cows haven’t existed for about 5,000 years. A wild cow, the auroc, was adopted and bred into the present varieties of cattle we can find. Long live Black Angus bulls.

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