Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Ascending the Giants

While visiting our friends Sophia and Casey over the Thanksgiving weekend, Corby and I met some of their friends who were pursuing their passion. And what a passion it is! Two young arborists, Brian and Will, were in pursuit of a 30-foot (diameter of trunk) madrone tree somewhere in the woods of Southern Oregon. Armed with two snapshots of this giant taken in 1991, they and two friends wandered the woods for some days seeking the old one and showing the photos to locals in hopes of finding and documenting this wonder.

You see, nowadays, we seldom see really large old trees. We cut them down before they can reach elderhood. So these men at Ascending the Giants, "dedicated to the documentation of champion trees," travel the world in search of these special beings. That's what these trees are called: champions, those who surpass all rivals. When searchers locate one of these trees, they do not publish its whereabouts out of respect for its age and concern for their survival. Brian claims -- and I believe him -- that there's much to be learned from mature trees. He traveled throughout Indonesia from January to August seeking big old trees native to that region.

Wherever you are in the world where there are trees, if you know of one that's exceptional in size and age, take a photo and note its whereabouts, then send the information to the folks at Ascending the Giants.

And where to they get their high-tech tree-climbing equipment, you might ask? They get them from New Tribe.