If you don’t like where you are,   Then change it.  You are not a tree.  -Jim Rohn

I chose this quote not really for the message but for the sake of the tree.  It is exactly right, trees once they are germinated or sprout from a root or stump are stuck in the place.  But they make the best of it! This past week I had many site visits, guess its a busy time of the year and two of those visits really had me thinking.  Much like this quote.

The first visit, I have known the landowners basically since I started here almost a year ago.  I heard stories about their property and the struggles they have had in trying to grow trees in certain areas.  The other day I was presented the opportunity to join them on a walk through their “enchanted forest” as they like to call it.  It is their little piece of sanctuary here in Michigan.  They have trails throughout the 10+ acres and they really care about the sustainability and conservation of the land.  While walking through the property, I was looking for anything of concern while they shared their joys of the trees they have planted through the years.  They have purchased many trees from our conservation district and to hear and see the pride they take in each tree and the sadness when one does not make it; was a very humbling experience.  As we were walking they were pointing old, large stumps from WAAAAY back in the day with some being charred from a old fire.  We guessed with Michigan’s history and the size they were most likely old white pine stumps.  Then we came across one they called the ghost.  The began to tell me how family and friends who have their photos taken with it.  I soon learned why, there was a hole in the very old stump where folks could put their faces and make it look like the stump had a face. So naturally to fit into their enchanted forest I too, took a picture with the stump! All in all it was a great visit to walk around a beautiful forest and talk about conservation with two great conservationists!

Another, visit that really stuck with me was very entertaining as well! I went out to answer questions he had about his management plan and I was reading through his plan and started commenting on the word “wolfy” that was being used to describe his white pines.  We laughed and began to walk through his property.  I soon realized what the plan writer meant by his description of wolfy white pines.  He had obvious signs of white pine weevil.  Which is a insect that lays in larvae just below the terminal buds and causes it to die and a new leader takes over- giving white pine the zig-zag shape.  These white pines had a lot going on.  Several branches trying to be the leader, making it look huge and crazy!  We had quite the laugh at several trees as we were discussing future management objectives! As we parted ways he yelled “glad you learned something new and scientific today- wolfy!”

Back to the quote- even though these trees are not perfect, they make the best of what they are given; because they cannot move!

Ghost Tree
Ghost Tree
"Wolfy" White Pine
“Wolfy” White Pine
Wolfy Tree!
Wolfy Tree!

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