Kilmer poem is a celebration of all trees. They’re extensions of Earth’s beauty, daily reminders of the magic all around us. Trees are a reason to live and celebrate. Unfortunately, most of us are so accustomed to trees that we really don’t appreciate them until it’s too late; we take them for granted. Only when a tree is shaken up by a lightning bolt, pushed down by a gust of wind or bulldozed over, do we say, “Hey – look at the tree!” We must appreciate trees in all stages of their lives, whether it’s government action or taking care of the ones in our backyard and on our street.
Thankfully, one such government action did just that. The Clean Air Act is a U.S. law designed to control air pollution. There are regulations and other enforcement methods. That way, pollutants like carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter can be controlled. By having cleaner air and environment, trees have a greater chance of thriving and many old trees are growing faster, such as red cedars in the central Appalachian Mountains.
In the article, “Red cedar trees rebounded after Clean Air Act,” Elizabeth Howell of LiveScience writes, “Before its implementation [Clean Air Act], the Appalachians were a “bull’s-eye” for acid pollution due to a large number of power plants along the Ohio Valley […] But a decade after the Clean Air Act was implemented, the stomata began to open and, slowly, they continued to do so until the early 2000s.”
Once an area of tree stagnancy, Appalachia has now become a booming tree metropolis. Tree rings show improved physiology. The act has improved certainly improved a tree’s quality of life and will only continue to do so, especially if stricter regulations are enforced.
At Spruce Point Farm, we do our part by planting and harvesting Colorado Blue Spruce Trees. What have you done lately for the trees in your backyard or the ones on your street?
*Image courtesy of Hannu Viitanen