A Rally Call for Ents!
Note: this week we have a special guest helping with the post. Ladies and gentlemen, straight from Middle Earth, the Shepard of the Trees, Treebeard!
Greetings, fellow Ents. I have called this Entmoot to tell you of a threat to all our lands.
The humans have gone too far. They spread over the land, hacking, biting, chopping, burning. Destroyers and userpers, curse them! Bur-a-hoom.
Ho hoom. Now their wanton destruction of forests has caused the planet to warm up, further increasing hardship for our natural lands. As shepards of the trees, we must fight back. Not since the March on Isengard has the fury of the Ents been roused. Now, us Ents must save Middle Earth again!
Be a Tree Shepard
Thank you Treebeard. You’re an inspiration to us all.
Did you know that large scale reforestation efforts could help alleviate the effects of global warming? Even if you only have a small piece of land, every tree helps.
Hopefully this post inspires you to find ways you can be a shepard of the trees.
This article claims that reforestation could take 205 billion tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere over the next 100 years. Trees prevent topsoil loss, they sequester carbon, and they provide habitat for all types of living things. Trees are a vital part of all properly functionong ecosystems.
So horay for trees. We all can get better at understanding trees, and individually do our part to help them thrive. We can be Ents, and shepard the trees to make the healthiest forests.
We are no longer at a point where humans can stop meddling and wait for nature to regenerate. If we want to fix Earth’s ecosystems within a human time frame, it will take sustained hard work all over the globe.
These are a few experiments I have been doing with trees. Hopefully they will inspire you to grow your own.
Idea one: grow a bonsai
This is Svani, my new tree. It is a Bodhi tree, and I am planning on using is for bonsai. I am waiting for the right season to repot it as a bonsai. I will post a follow up about that.
The Bodhi tree is sacred to Hindus and Buddhists. It is the tree under which the Budha meditated for 49 days and gained enlightenment. Large specimens have been guarded at temples for thousands of years.
It also has useful characteristics as a medicinal tree. By keeping it as a bonsai, I can experiment with the medical benefits of the plant without having a huge tree around.
Idea 2: clone trees from cuttings
My next experiment involves cloning. Cloning trees is actually quite easy. With most types of trees, you simply take a cutting and plant it. I have a rooting hormone that speeds up the roooting process. Its something you can experiment and have fun with. Taking cuttings wont hurt the main tree, and you can make unlimited free trees.
In this case, I am replicating this Leyland Cypress. These four cuttings can grow into trees of their own given a few years.
Taking cuttings of trees means you can have as many of that tree as you want. If you have a tree you like, take cuttings. You can give them to friends, plant them in roadsides, or keep them for your own personal forest. Each new tree does a tiny bit to help the environment.
Its also a good way to recycle. Get another use out of those old juice containers!
Idea 3: Grow trees from seed
My last tree experiment is the most optimistic. This is growing a tree from seed.
Its a bit of a roll of the dice. You can grow a tree from a fruit that you buy at the store. But it is not guaranteed to reliably grow the same fruit you ate. Being a Tree Shepard is about caring for trees for their own sake, not for your benefit!
These are mango seeds that I am germinating. I leave the seed in a wet paper towel inside a plastic bag. A few weeks later, roots are just starting. Time to put them in soil.
Treebeard’s last word:
Ho hroom. My good Ents, now is the time for us to reclaim these lands. Once again, forests will stretch from ocean to ocean. We will care for life on this planet, and it will care for us back.
Be a Shepard of the Trees. Do what you can.
Now onward, Ents! To Isengard!