In the City - The Lone Tree


There are times a tree sticks out - it may be taller than the others surrounding it or it may be larger but it is not the same as a lone tree.  These solitary trees seem to make a statement, look as if they've "endured" and may give us a point of reference in the landscape.  Some are majestic and stand out framed by fields and sky while others blend into their urban surroundings missed entirely.  We may walk by them every day and not even notice.

And if we do look up it may only be as we conjure up feelings of sympathy for this single, lonely tree.

I know that's what I felt when I took this picture of a tree in a Boston suburb many years ago.  There were feelings of sympathy for this parking lot natural token offering.  I wondered if anyone really ever noticed it and whether ti would survive where planted especially as it was under this artificial synthetic sun twenty-four seven.

These types of lone trees, may even be a symbol of our own lifestyle, mimicking disconnected we are to natural surroundings and even in some ways to each other and even to ourselves.

In the urban environment you'll see these lone trees around.  There's one in my neighbourhood that really caught my eye.  I do appreciate all the evergreen trees in our city and you really don't even realize how many there are until the winter is upon us.  But some of them can be found in very solitary positions.

I haven't read Peter Wohlleben's "The Hidden Life of Trees" but it's interesting to think of all the communication that might be happening underground and then to realize that a solitary tree is a very unusual situation.  Most trees in a forest aren't found that far away from the parent plant.  They may be carried further away from their community by small mammals but usually they will still be found in a forest setting.

Is it in this book or in an article that comments that this could be why many urban street trees don't do so well as they don't have that connection to others to help them out when needed? To look after each other "like an old couple"?

And in the same vein, I was amazed to learn that Aspen are a colony and are truly just one plant but with many trunks.  Every time I find myself in an Aspen grove I have to stop and take in this magical idea.

But back to the lone tree, back to the solitary urban survivor...


Do they make you pause?


Can you see a benefit to a lone tree in the same way being immersed in a forest can provide healing energies (such as forest bathing)?


Or perhaps in this instance is it us that provides the healing energy to the lone tree?


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