We’re talkin’ trees

Dudley Wooten - PDT Outdoor Columnist

As we study forestry, silva culture, or dendrology, we will study trees, tree management, and the science of trees. Somewhere along the line we start crossing the line from practical, use full and realistic knowledge and application to the realm of impractical or unrealistic thought. The key is knowing where to draw the line.

As we read, we’ll find those authors who tell us useful and practical tree knowledge of horticulture, landscaping, forestry, timber, etc. Unfortunately, there are plenty of trees providing fiber for printed paper and “fake news.” People seem to have the right to print whatever they please and it seems that the burden lies with us to determine it as fiction or nonfiction. This is the case of romance novels and trees books.

I’ve recently read 3 books that include just enough truth and proven fact to make the 95% of its fictional thought sound credible.

How many of you have read John Muir? I personally believe him to be a very accomplished hiker traveler, particularly in uncharted areas. This also would qualify him as an explorer. When you combine this with his undaunted reverence of trees and nature, you have a naturalist. With these qualifications, I value his opinion and so did Teddy Roosevelt and The National Park Service.

Henry D. Thoreau, R. W. Emerson, Rachel Carson, H. W. Beecher, Confucius, Ghandi, Chinese Proverbs, Indian Proverbs, M. Luther, J. Kilmer, R. L. Stevenson, and I. Shamir are all very good sources of real knowledge and reverence for trees. They all speak from experience and the heart.

These days, you seem to find a growing number of authors, who want to tear-up or twist the “Tree Constitution” in their writings. They want to disregard proven and age-old logic and fact, when they apply their wishes and hopes as to how they “think” or “want” any given tree situation to be.

Where is all this coming from? To me, it is totally OK to write all day about how you feel about trees. You’re entitled to your opinion, especially if you’re experienced in trees; however, it is not cool for those experienced in electronic tree theory to state that trees have feelings and emotion.

I believe there to be totally conclusive and never-ending evidence to substantiate our feelings about trees but don’t tell me that trees need counseling or therapy prior to harvest. This is better advise for the author of said thought.

I come from 4 generations of sawmill/logging family. I have degrees and experience in trees and tree care. The truth is – I love trees. I write about trees and spend most of my time doing something with them or just out amongst ‘em.

Over the course of my time amongst trees, I’ve concluded that they’ve been here far longer than us, they are the largest members in their plant kingdom, they are our greatest ally in the ecosystem and we can always learn from them.


Dudley Wooten

PDT Outdoor Columnist

Dudley Wooten is the owner/operator of Wooten’s Landscaping and Nursery and can be contacted at 740-820-8210.

Dudley Wooten is the owner/operator of Wooten’s Landscaping and Nursery and can be contacted at 740-820-8210.