Saturday, June 20, 2015

A Great American Tree


I belong to an online community called American Grove.  I guess you would call us tree enthusiasts.  "Tree huggers" would be too narrow a term to describe all of the activities and interests there.

American Grove is currently running a Great American Tree competition.  They describe what they are looking for:
"It’s a landmark to your community, has a compelling story, or makes a huge environmental contribution. It personifies perseverance or is a testament to history. It’s grand and noble or small and dignified."
When I discovered that the Pacific Northwest had not yet been represented in the submissions, I decided I better take care of that.  I submitted this photo of the ancient Douglas Fir that grows at the edge of the Sand Dune Forest in Deception Pass State Park.  At more than 850 years old, I believe this tree adequately meets the criteria.  It is also a favorite of mine.  I am always drawn to it whenever I visit West Beach and the sand dunes.  In the submission, I included the text from the park interpretive sign:
"For over 850 years this Douglas Fir has stood witness to the forming and changing of these dunes.  Thick bark and strong wood have served well against storm, fire, drought and disease.  Through all of this time it has offered generations of people its leaves for shelter, limbs for climbing and branches for sitting.  Its bark is strong but thinning from so much climbing.  Love it gently.  Look on it with thoughts of the times it has seen.  Find its stillness while you listen to the forest, dunes and sea.  Wonder at what forces sculpted it so.  Reflect on the ways its relatives touch your lives.  Love it gently and it will live to shelter your children and theirs as well."
The winners will be announced in September.  Wish me luck.  There are prizes, but I don't think this is the point.  The recognition of special individual trees is the most important reason.  I wanted this good, old Douglas Fir to be included.