This particular chapter stood out to me because it explored and discussed the complex relationship between trees and civilizations. On one hand people have a unique admiration for trees and the symbolism they carry. However, on the other hand, there is a historical background on why people need land clearance and forest destruction. He attempts to explain the difference between trees and the problems that they are connected to as a way to understand why we need to use trees for industry. There are very good reasons why trees are still very important and crucial in our surroundings and they are connected to how grateful we are for what trees provide for us.
For as far as we can remember, trees have provided food, shelter and habitats for most wildlife species which is why trees are so symbolic and the center of worship. In Buddhism for example, Siddhartha sat near a tree where he waited to find enlightment which is a way of becoming pure and not needing possessions. The fact that trees have played such a small but important role in something as big as religion shows how big of an impact they have in our daily lives. However, in the recent years there has been a dramatic decline in global forest cover, losing almost a fifth of the world’s forest.
Three tools that scientists use to explain the dramatic decline is climax vegetation, disturbance and succession. Climax vegetation is the amount of vegetation over time depending on the climatic conditions. Disturbance is a phenomenon of dramatic chance in the ecosystem. Succession is the recovery of forest areas. These tools are incredibly important because they give us opportunities to look further into the problems of the environment, specifically at trees.
Trees play an important role in society, especially in a culture that practices agriculture and strives in a diverse ecosystem. Without trees, there is little biodiversity and very little for people to use to excel within their culture and farming. For example, dozens of native bird species are provided tree habitat in India therefore without those trees there would be little diversity in the birds uncovered in India.
The main question we must ask ourselves is how can we use trees for our benefit while maintaining the amount of trees in the world? Will there be hope in repopulating a tree species that has died out and has little chance of growing?