New England woodland in autumn
New England woodland in autumn

I have been thinking a lot about trees recently. My visit to Arnold Arboretum in October and a recent publisher’s request for American tree images inspired a new gallery, American Trees.

Whenever I post a new gallery, I try to describe it in an evocative way, but found myself inadequate to the task for this gallery.  Trees are so much grander than any words.  My photos barely do justice.  What can I say ?

I went looking for what others have said, and present you with quotations about trees through the ages.

California native trees left to right - Juniperus grandis - Sierran Juniper; Quercus kelloggii (Black Oak); Populus tremuloides (Quaking Aspen); (Washingtonia filifera (California Fan Palm) at East Bay Regional Parks Botanic Garden, Berkeley.
California native trees left to right – Sierran Juniper; Black Oak; Quaking Aspen; California Fan Palm at East Bay Regional Parks Botanic Garden, Berkeley.

“The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The next best time is now”. ~ Chinese proverb

Juglans nigra – Black Walnut tree; Arnold Arboretum

“In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.” John Muir

“I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it” – John Muir

Redwood Trees, Sequoia sempervirens, in Muir Woods
Redwood Trees, Sequoia sempervirens, worlds tallest trees in Muir Woods, California

“The wonder is that we can see these trees and not wonder more.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Joshua Tree succulents, Yucca Palm (Yucca brevifolia), Walker Pass Road, Mojave Desert in Southern California

“He who plants a tree, plants a hope.” –  Lucy Larcom, Plant a Tree

“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.” – Kahlil Gibran

Liriodendron tulipifera -Tulip tree, Tulip poplar, Budding with spring leaves emerging at Mount Cuba Center
Liriodendron tulipifera – Tulip poplar, budding with spring leaves emerging at Mount Cuba Center, Delaware

“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people. – Franklin Roosevelt

“A people without children would face a hopeless future; a country without trees is almost as helpless.” –  Franklin Roosevelt

“Tree planting is always a utopian enterprise, it seems to me, a wager on a future the planter doesn’t necessarily expect to witness.” Michael Pollan

Redbud tree (Cercis canadensis) flowering by pathway to woodland garden of Liriodendron tulipifera -Tulip tree with white flowering dogwoods in spring at Mount Cuba Center
Redbud tree (Cercis canadensis) flowering by pathway to woodland garden of Liriodendron tulipifera -Tulip tree with white flowering dogwoods in spring at Mount Cuba Center

“The planting of a tree, especially one of the long-living hardwood trees, is a gift which you can make to posterity at almost no cost and with almost no trouble, and if the tree takes root it will far outlive the visible effect of any of your other actions, good or evil.” George Orwell

” the trees, though not fully clothed, were in that delightful state when farther beauty is known to be at hand, and when, while much is actually given to the sight, more yet remains for the imagination.” Jane Austen

Parkinsonia aculeata (Mexican Palo Verde) yellow flowering drought tolerant tree, Los Angeles Natural History Museum
Parkinsonia aculeata (Mexican Palo Verde) yellow flowering drought tolerant tree, Los Angeles Natural History Museum
Gleditsia triacanthos 'Imperial', Honeylocust Tree; Arnold Arboretum
Gleditsia triacanthos ‘Imperial’, Honeylocust Tree; Arnold Arboretum

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in”. Greek Proverb

“The tree is a slow, enduring force straining to win the sky.” ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Chilopsis linearis - Desert Willow, Californa native tree in morning light at Leaning Pine Arboretum, California
Chilopsis linearis – Desert Willow, Californa native tree in morning light at Leaning Pine Arboretum, California

“It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.” ~Robert Louis Stevenson

“Trees are the earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.” ~Rabindranath Tagore

. . . . I could not have said it better . . . obviously.  Go hug a tree today.

Quercus agrifolia, Live Oak Tree in fog on Cherry Hill, Novato with Kona dog

My dog, Kona, and I go walking among the magnificent Oaks of California every morning.  Follow us on Instagram #walkswithkonadog.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Saxon, you have excellently captured on film much of the admirable essence of these beautiful creations. I especially like the way you were able to snap the up-view into the honeylocust at Arnold Arboretum. I’ve tried and never really caught it like you did with that photo. Well done.!

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