Still Learning To See


Part of friendship could be defined as a long-term relationship of mutual respect and admiration between two living things. Trees fit into that definition for me. There are many trees I consider to be my friends.

 This White Oak (Quercus alba), growing in Manchester, Michigan on what was once Liz’s great-grandfather’s farm, is a case in point. When he started farming there in 1890 the tree was already of noticeable size so I can surmise it is at 170 years old. Liz and her 92-year old father clearly have a relationship with this fine old tree.

In this part of Michigan this species of tree can easily live to be 300-400 years old or more so, without coring the tree, which won’t happen, I can’t be certain of its age. The great news is, when the farm was developed as an industrial park, the tree was spared and left in a large grassy area with benches and picnic tables. It appears very healthy and is just now in the process of budding out.

The tree is in the perfect place to maintain “friendships” with a number of the locals. One of these is also a good friend of ours. When we visited the tree yesterday, Julia insisted she had to hug it. Clearly this is the beginning of a long friendship and I hope the photograph that might inspire others to hug a friend, be it a tree or a human.

This entry was published on March 29, 2012 at 11:44 pm and is filed under People, Trees. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “Friends

  1. Julia on said:

    What a joy–sending a hug your way for this wonderful entry on trees (and the picture of me hugging the Parr Oak!). I’ve always thought “hugs” have not been given their due as one of the best forms of connection with friends, human and otherwise. I recall a writer saying we all need 11 hugs a day, sort of like we need our vitamins 🙂 I’ll certainly be visiting this amazing tree many times–it was an honor to be introduced to “him” by you, Liz, and Howard.

    • Your tree hug is an inspiration! My guess it a hug from a tree like that Oak is worth at least 11 “regular” hugs. We enjoyed being within hugging range of you.

  2. Barbara Smith on said:

    My husband Russell smith was born in Manchester MI to russell(Smitty) and Millie Smith.
    Their daughter April still lives ther and works at the library.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: