[[ Most recent Update: 28 September 2012. ]]
The tree knows that it is no longer harvesting sunlight in the high branches. It knows that it must harvest sunlight. It probably does not know why it must harvest sunlight, but it knows it must.
The knowledge is in the tree’s DNA.
The tree also knows it needs leaves to harvest sunlight; and it knows how to grow leaves. This knowledge, too, is in the DNA, so the tree begins to grow leaves; it sprouts tiny nubbins of leaves at the point on the trunk where the tree was topped in preparation for removal.
A few days after the tree was topped, this tiny leaf is reaching desperately for the sun in an effort to harvest sunlight to power the photosynthesis that will feed the tree. The tree also knows how to do photosynthesis; this,too, is part of the ancient knowledge stored in the DNA.
What the tree doesn’t know is that the effort is all for naught. The excavation of the tree will continue, the stump and roots will be laid out to dry in the sun, and become wood that will be washed, scraped, sanded, and have several coats of the finest spar varnish money can buy applied, then be displayed as ‘Roots – 2’ for all to enjoy as a piece of natural sculpture.
But, that’s not the end of the story.
The tree also doesn’t know is that it’s offsprings will continue to grow and prosper, producing delicious fruit year after year, just like this tree did for the pass several years. The tree’s “family” not only provides fruit, but also provides privacy in the form of a hedge between the house and the street.
The photo, below, shows part of the hedge with a couple of young palm trees in the foreground.
The hedge was planted several years ago using bird-damaged fruit from the ‘parent’ tree as seeds. Planting was a simple process of spreading seeds on the ground, covering them with a thin layer of compost, then giving them an occasional watering. There are dozens of individual trees in the hedge; I have never counted all of them, but there must be at least forty or fifty.
Notice that the hedge has two levels. The lower level is a ‘solid’ barrier. There are five ‘chosen ones’ that were allowed to grow to their full height, and these have produced fruit for the past three years. No fruit is shown here because this photo was make after the fruit had been harvested.
The ‘parent’ tree for this hedge is being removed, and will be replaced by a slab of concrete on which a storage shed for gardening tools will be built.
What kind of trees are we talking about here? The loquat, which is an Asian evergreen that produces two crops of delicious fruit each year. One of my neighbors told me that the loquat would never make a hedge, but I think it has worked out rather nicely.
Hope to have an update on the excavation for Roots-2 soon. (See previous post for a photo of the excavation.)
Meanwhile, there are more gardening tasks to do. It is amazing how much work goes into keeping an ‘accidental’ garden going.