In this political climate, it’s good to get our heads out of certain subjects and back into nature, where the unseen world of trees provide succor for the mind.
Trees are beautiful, and immensely powerful, with the ability to either hold back erosion or to poison the soil. That is why we need to be suspicious of foreign invader trees, like the tree of heaven. We don’t need these plants taking other plants’ soil, tampering with our ecosystem, and changing our native demographics. If you spot a tree of heaven, or something that looks like one, make sure to send it back to its home country, or at least alert the property authorities.
Take a native tree, like the black walnut, or juglans nigra. The black walnut releases juglone into the soil, an allelochemical that is toxic to other plants, eliminating all competitors and leaving all the soil nutrients to the walnut tree. They become isolated, and therefore prosperous. They don’t have the time nor the resources to be helping other plants.
That said, the use of force is sometimes important. Take the stranger fig, for example. It actually swallows weaker, punier trees by germinating on their trunks, slowly sending roots down in mid-air, and eventually enveloping them, choking their life out. This is called the trickle down effect, and though it may sound like it only benefits one tree, there are many intangible benefits for all parties.
Possibly the most interesting tree is the common juniper. Songbirds love juniper berries, but since they can’t digest them, they would often perch on settlers’ fenceposts and poop them out, resulting today in long, unbroken strands of barbed juniper brush that slow the eroding winds of change and keep all predators from crossing to the other side. Like a big wall. Juniper berries are quite beautiful. They are covered in a pale purple-blue blush that, when easily rubbed off, reveal their true color, something much darker.