Just One Tree


oak leaves and light Just one tree

At Goodleaf Tree Climbing we have just one tree. And that’s how I like it. Yes we do occasionally branch out (ahem) to other locations but what’s really special for us is the relationship we have to our local environment, in particular, just one tree.

Bonkers though this may sound, I feel really connected to our tree in Appley Park. I climb it every day for  4 to 5 months of the year. I’ve come to know its form, its knobbly bits and wonky branches. It’s the last tree in the park to lose its leaves in Autumn and, yes, the last one to get new leaves in spring. It’s a late-starter and I love it for that! In fact, I took a snap of its new leaves that have come out this week.
fresh oak leaves

I love how our tree fits into the wider landscape of the park and the beach, the views it gives from the top and the solid trunk and spreading canopy that is a home to all sorts of wildlife.

It has its own diary. At certain times of year certain things appear; galls, bugs and birds. It’s always got a window free for a happening under the canopy including tree climbing.

I think about what our tree has seen. It was probably planted by Humphry Repton, successor to Capability Brown. It’s lived for well over 200 years (we think). It’s been a part of a grand garden but is now happy to provide shade (and tree climbing) as part of a local park.

mum and daughter in the treeNow I’m lucky enough to see families forge new ways of being together in the tree. Parents put their phones down for a couple of hours (no phones in the tree), talk and laugh with their kids, the kids help and encourage their parents to balance on a slim branch 40 feet in the air. It’s a lovely thing to be part of and I know it’s even more special because it happens in our tree.

You don’t have to be a tree climber to appreciate the relationships that trees build with many different life forms. Get up close to any tree near you right now and look at the homes it’s providing for animals, insects and birds which in turn benefit our habitat and ecosystem.

Just one tree can do that. Happy Earth Day.

Paul


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