Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Time to Plant and a Time to Uproot

Dying spruce trees: we've got a few of them at our house.

I think it's either a disease or lack of sunlight that's causing them to shed their needles from the bottom up. Either way, it makes for a sad looking tree and and even sadder looking landscape.

Trees, meet chainsaw. The ones covered with naked branches were taken down at the base of the trunk. Those with dead branches at the bottom got a trim; only dead branches were lopped off.

When I set the chainsaw down I planted saplings. Right now they are only four feet tall but one day I hope they reach 40 feet into the sky with luscious dark green needles on ever branch.

Spending a day chopping down trees and planting new ones reminded me of local church ministry.

There will always be 'dead tree people.' You know the ones, those who stand as a reminder of the 'good ol' days' when the tree was 'fed' and the landscape wasn't polluted with so many 'other species' that grew up around it and blocked its SUN. Now, rather than reproducing, it stands as a defender of deadness in a changing landscape of beauty and freshness.

Thankfully, there is hope. I don't spend too much energy trying to revive 'dead tree people.' Most aren't willing or able to cultivate much more than death and disease. Instead, look for people who are alive and interested in being planted somewhere new, helping to propagate a future forest. Where can you find new tree people? Check around the canopy of mature, healthy tree people. There are usually a host of little tiny 'healthy tree people' in the initial stages of growth. When you find them, dig them up and plant them somewhere where they can make a difference. Oh, here's tip for planting new tree people: when you find a good location, dig a hole and mix a little crap (can I use that term?) into their environment. It makes them healthy and helps them grow.


Anonymous said...

yeah Jay it's the manure that makes um grow so well....


Alanna said...

I would like you to say, "dig a hole and mix a little crap" from the pulpit. What would that do to the dead trees????

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