To Speak for the Trees

by | Philosophy & How To

grandmother trees embody love and protection

Grandmother in Moss

I have long chosen to speak for the trees and the many benefits they provide all life on earth. Trees bridge many dimensions. Humans love, use – and all too often abuse – these great friends of ours. The realms of the nature beings love trees as well and utilize them in many varied ways far different from that of the human realms.

In recent years there has been a deluge of books about trees, by experts in a wide variety of disciplines who are studying how trees communicate and work in community. These books are calling attention to the dangerous world-wide destruction of our forests – destruction that can also lead to problems of human survival. It seems the trees are reaching out through human interpreters, seeking to stop the suicidal carnage humans are imposing on earth.

I hope my body of photographic work contributes to this growing swell of human voices calling for change. My nature spirit photographs show the sentient nature of trees, their complex society, and their value to the many beings who co-occupy earth at different frequency levels. Trees are intelligent life forms, sometimes highly sophisticated, with lives far longer than our human ones. Their nature is peaceful and community-centric. They literally have given humans the ability to exist and they love and accept us as we do our children – even our children who misbehave, strike out and hurt us.

I was reading To Speak for the Trees by botanist Diana Beresford-Kroeger and came upon the following passage that speaks about this very real debt we humans owe the tree realm:

trees provide the oxygen that humans breathe

Walking a Birch Forest in Autumn

Earth’s atmosphere at the time of change from the ferns to the evergreens had concentrations of carbon dioxide too high to sustain human life. Fortunate for us, humans didn’t yet exist. If we had, we would have suffocated. Over the next 300 million years, the ferns, then cycads, then long-lost extinct evergreens and then gymnosperms and finally the flowering trees oxygenated our atmosphere. Green molecular machines continued to evolve, converting carbon into stalks, trunks, leaves, flowers and breathable air, each more powerful than the version that preceded it. 

Trees don’t simply maintain the conditions necessary for human and most animal life on Earth; trees created those conditions through the community of forests. Trees paved the way for the human family. The debt we owe them is too big to ever repay… 

….Trees were responsible for the most basic necessity of life, the air we breathe. Forests were being cut down across the globe at breathtaking rates – quite literally breath-taking. In destroying them we were destroying our own life-support system. Cutting down trees was a suicidal act.

To Speak for the Trees by Diana Beresford-Kroeger. Pp 102-103 – Winner of the 2019 Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award


  1. Thank you for your work.

    • Thank you, Karen. I appreciate your appreciation 🙂


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