Russell M. Middleton - The Wisdom of Trees
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As the tallest in my class for the first decade and a half of my life, I have an affinity for trees.

The Wisdom of Trees

largest of the big trees and indisputably the largest living organism: The General Sherman Tree

The General Sherman Tree
Sequoia National Park, Three Rivers, CA, USA 93271-9700 .

(This is the largest of the big trees and indisputably the largest living organism on earth.)

Estimated age: 2500-3000 years

Estimated weight of trunk: 1256 metric tons (1385 tons)

Height: 83.8 m (274.9 feet)

Circumference: 31.3 m (102.6 feet)

Maximum diameter: 11.1 m (36.5 feet)

Trunk volume: 1,487 m3 (52,500 feet 3)

(Used with permission of Dr. David W. Lee, (copyright 1979) Florida International University. From an educational slide show Big Tree Project -- Tallest, Biggest and Oldest Trees - A field trip presented compliments of David Lee, and Illinois State University's Fell Aboretum and the Department of Biological Sciences.)

"Trees are one of Earth’s oldest life forms; silent witnesses to human evolution and the passing of time. Many people today take the presence of trees for granted, unaware of their greater significance in Earth’s ecology, their medicinal and nutritional properties, or the veneration bestowed on them by ancient peoples." — Fred Hageneder

"Collectively, trees are guardians, protecting all life on Earth, just as a single tree gives refreshing shadow under the summer sun. Because of this guardianship of all life and because of the guidance trees provide us with on our spiritual journey, everywhere in the world humans have respected, loved and revered trees. Evidence for this goes back 6,000 years and more, way back into the Stone Age. Humanity has had a deep, 'religious' relationship with trees long before 'religions' were invented. The wisdom of trees is as old as the dawn of human consciousness. When early humans first ever started to ask questions, about themselves and the cosmos, trees were among the first to answer. The spiritual and practical reverence of trees only fully stopped in the 20th century, following industrialisation and the exploitation-of-resources mentality." — Fred Hageneder (emphasis added)

"...humanity is not the centre of the universe, to be served by everything. Instead we are co-creatures, fellow beings in a much grander, living system. The Earth does not belong to us but we belong to the planet. And like every other species, we have a special task for the benefit of the whole. Our mental and technical abilities demand a special responsibility. To be human means to resist greed and collective self-destruction, and to acquire true dignity by acting from an attitude of deep care and respect for all life. Since the dawn of humankind trees have supported our material and spiritual ascent, and now it is high time for us to be willing again to give something back to these formidable creatures." — Fred Hageneder

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