‘When is the best time to plant a tree? Twenty years ago. The second best time? Today’ (chinese proverb)
In his book ‘The Man Who Plants Trees’ Robbins states to us the importance of trees on our planet; ‘If we had to pay for the services that trees provide, we could not afford them. Because trees offer their services in silence and for free, we take them for granted.’ He also examines and outlines the beneficial effects of trees on human health, claiming that any disease that has emerged in the last 30/40 years is due to deforestation and the subsequent reduction in aerosol- forming chemicals that balance our ecosystems. We are all aware to differing degrees, that trees and the chemical processes they provide for the earth are important. However, the more I have read these ecologically based books, it becomes strikingly clear that the facts really do speak for themselves. He quotes champion tree cloner, David Milarch; ‘When we look at the trees around us, were looking at the ruts, the leftovers. The whole country should be forested coast to coast with these giants, not with the puny, scrawny, miserable mess we call our forests. We don’t realise what we have lost.’ Robbins also highlights a study conducted by the Wells Housing Project in 2001, where they discovered that there was a significant rise in family aggression in households who had no view or access to trees compared to families in identical accommodation with open views to countryside. Indeed, the therapeutic nature of trees and their ability to create a sense of well-being is far more accepted in far eastern countries such as Japan, Russia and Korea.
We need to wake up and realise how beneficial not only trees are, but the whole beauty and serenity of nature for human health. Reading this book has generated a deep interest in trees for me as I had not appreciated the full extent of their restorative powers to the earth and to us as humans. They are unfathomably important in our balance and quality of life.