Still Learning To See

More trees

Just plain hot today. It felt like June or even July. Buds continue to swell and spring bulbs and weeds are popping up. Reports of birds and butterflies back 20-30 days earlier than average. Also the maple syrup crop is pretty much finished, most having made only 5-10% of normal. This is scary.

Who would ever have dreamed that one day our streets would no longer be lined with American Elm (Ulmus americana) or our forests filled with American Chestnut (Castanea dentata)? And yet, that is what it has come to. There now remains one great American Elm in Montpelier and three smaller (50 years-old). That’s it. A few American Chestnuts survive in the area but all show disease.

The global changes taking place now dwarf these two eco-disasters. I find it nearly impossible to imagine what might be coming. But what is here already, even what seems to be just a pleasantly warm early spring day, is terrifying. Trees can be part of slowing the process of climate change but, alone, are not enough.

I need to do more, I need to begin now.

A glory of branches in the last great American Elm in Montpelier.

And the primary branches of this fine old tree are so muscular.

This entry was published on March 18, 2012 at 7:26 pm. It’s filed under Spring, Trees and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “More trees

  1. Julia on said:

    It’s great to see that some others are concerned about all this “nice” weather we’ve been having. It’s just TOO EARLY for seventy degree weather! Our book club read Amy Seidl’s FINDING HIGHER GROUND about climate change. She attended and later taught at Univ. of VT, and lives in Huntington. Her website is , and is worth a look. What I like about her is that she isn’t a “doomsday” prophet, but gives us some VERY concrete actions to take in our own lives.

    See you soon!

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