Tree Farming and Raising Students

Tree farmers tell the story about how if you want strong trees you’ve gotta be tough on them when they are saplings.  Don’t water them much, smack them around a bit, do not shelter them from the rain, wind, and snow.   Gives them a chance to dig deep roots.   Many of the saplings do not survive, but a few do and they become big and old and strong.

There’s another way of tree farming that supports the philosophy that you should shade the trees from too much sun, water them daily, and prop them up.  Most of the saplings survive, but few survive big storms.

There’s a third philosophy where farmers plant saplings with good dirt, in partial sun, water regularly and leave them to grow in the direction that they are best suited.   Saplings turn to trees that are different .  Some are wide and others are tall.  Some reach high toward the sky and some stick close to the ground.  Some are damaged, but heal and the scar becomes a beautiful marker of time and growth.

Categories: Faculty & Staff Blogs, Other

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