The trees don’t want to take anything away from each other
Saturday was the International Day of Forests, on Sunday the World Water day and so on. These days is more than obvious that we need to do something more to show our love and appreciation for the Planet Earth than just adding some special days in the calendar. It’s true, every reminder is important, but as we can see nothing can shake us more than something that’s out of control. We can’t predict life’s next step, but we can work on our steps in improving life on Earth not just for us, as we did recklessly for centuries, but for all beings. These beings not only help us to survive, but they can teach us great lessons.
“The average tree grows its branches out until it encounters the branch tips of a neighboring tree of the same height. It doesn’t grow any wider because the air and better light in this space are already taken. However, it heavily reinforces the branches it has extended, so you get the impression that there’s quite a shoving match going on up there. But a pair of true friends is careful right from the outset not to grow overly thick branches in each other’s direction. The trees don’t want to take anything away from each other” – The Hidden Life of Trees – Peter Wohlleben
On a windy but warm day, right before the world started to collapse, the OPTI team went on a thoughtful adventure.
A few months ago, looking for various team building exercises, we finally came up with the idea to give something back to the planet and decided to plant some trees. From that decision to finding the closest forest were to do so, it was just a step. That’s why some weeks later we got in contact with Robina from Forest of Marston Vale, who visited us straight away and we started planning. To be honest, it took as a while to decide on a date, and we were a bit sceptical about the muddy weather, but we don’t think there’s someone in the company who didn’t enjoy our day out planting trees.
Right before showing you some pictures from our experience, let’s find out more about the Forest of Marston Vale’s story.
The Forest of Marston Vale is the 61 square miles between Bedford and Milton Keynes which was a very different place before everything started. Massive pits had been dug throughout the countryside to supply Stewartby Brickworks with clay – many were then filled with waste and became landfill. Tree cover was a pitiful 3% – a third of the national average at the time.
There was smog from the chimneys; there were smells from the landfill. If you were driving through on the old A421, you’d do your car windows up.
To help the area recover from the effects of these industries, the Government made the area a Community Forest – one of 12 in the UK – in the early 90s. The idea was that planting trees and using woodlands would make life better for people, and wildlife. Read more on https://www.marstonvale.org/our-story
“Where is the end of the road for our forests? Will they go on storing carbon until someday isn’t any left in the air? This, by the way, is no longer a question in search of an answer, thanks to our consumer society, for we have already reversed the trend as we happily empty out the earth’s carbon reservoirs. We are burning oil, gas, and coal as heating materials and fuel, and spewing their carbon reserves out into the air.
The latest forest inventories document that trees are growing more quickly than they used to. The spreadsheets that estimate lumber production need to be adjusted now that one third more biomass is accruing than a few decades ago. But what was that again? If you are a tree, slow growth is the key to growing old. Growth fuelled by hefty additions of excess nitrogen from agricultural operations is unhealthy. And so the tried and tested rule holds true: less (carbon dioxide) is more (life-span)” – The Hidden Life of Trees – Peter Wohlleben