The invisible trees

It’s amazing what people don’t see. In cities, not seeing is an essential survival tool – this is why I don’t cope well in cities. I can spot a mouse in woodland undergrowth. I do not have the means to tune out a relentless stream of noise, cars, people, adverts and all the rest, so cities rapidly overwhelm me. To survive in a city, you clearly have to be able to tune out much of your surroundings.

One of the consequences may be that people don’t see the trees around them. Woodland Trust research found that when asked about their local street trees only 23% of people think that we need more trees on our streets. This is a pretty depressing statistic, especially when you consider how much good urban trees do. The shade and cool provided by urban trees saves people a fortune in hot weather and protects us from skin cancer. Trees improve our environments, but all too often, we don’t see them, much less what they do for us.

According to The Woodland Trust, when you get people talking and thus thinking about their trees, they become more aware of them at which point people do turn out to care. It also happens when trees are removed –in the loss of trees people may well become able to appreciate the value of what they had, but it’s a terrible time to wake up to the true value of something.  77% say they would miss their street trees.

We don’t protect what we don’t notice. We don’t value what we tuned out. No doubt most city dwellers would be very aware of the change if all the people and vehicles they routinely ignore suddenly weren’t there. The same goes for trees. It’s no good only recognising the value of things we have lost.

I will leave you with Joni Mitchell…


About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

6 responses to “The invisible trees

  • The invisible trees — Druid Life | Thesseli

    […] via The invisible trees — Druid Life […]

  • Eliza Ayres

    Reblogged this on Blue Dragon Journal and commented:
    I’ve noticed the same phenomenon where people are nearly completely unaware of their natural surroundings, even if it is one street tree. It could be a concrete column for all they know. I consider this a sorry state of being asleep to Nature in general.

  • Christopher Blackwell

    Joni Mitchel, I met her once quite by accident but did not know until weeks later when I saw her picture in a newspaper.I was hitchhiking into Los Angeles from a few miles away when a lady in a read sports car picked me up. I seemed to amuse her, it might be because I didn’t know who she was at the time. She talked about her house in the Hollywood Hills at the end of a road and then an end of a trail. She talked about her boyfriend who she was going to visit in Canada. This was in the early 1970s

    Later when I thought about it, I thought it must be a rare thing when a famous person can be just human with none of the baggage of being famous, nor of maintaining their public persona. I doubt she would remember the incident and it is not important that she would. Just an insight that I picked up form an accidental meeting.

  • Jen Farrant

    I think this is why Robert Mcfarlene’s work around language and loss of nature language is so important. We need to talk about these things, and it is impossible to do so without the right language. I’m not talking latin names, just common words for nature

  • eberis

    we say the invisible trees are not of an unsought grove though of dimensional space in the canopy of the 10 Systems Star N Planet of the place of the illuminati walk … and the place of the darkport is the sought after power of scientific magic as saumn mentioned in Einstein of The Meaning of Relativity . if this will be met with sio belligerence and green based on narcose in way of syllabate reminder of portension I don’t hope to explain the tier of health is lacking in good . thereby good health to you may it be a reminder of what we will say we can dd to set brim to the work of our health in pollution . the Midwest Climate Agreement is to help with a future of ecology and I don’t agree with another portension of a kind of timecast of saying one is in virtue of scholarly by being plaigiarist in advance of a muse of ill will . Peace to you meant Peace Now .

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