Aug

7

 I fully agree that trees are not thinking things in the strict sense, and they cannot imagine the future. However, trees may 'think' (I use that term very loosely) about the future as much in as it is to their benefit. That is, while certain aspects of trees are purely reactionary to circumstance (e.g., growing toward light), if we consider seed dispersal strategies then perhaps it could be said that trees are exhibiting a form of forward looking intelligence. They are making their best guess about what time to release their seeds. While it probably a very simple model, based on tens of thousands of years experience of the seasons, it could be called a form of anticipation and planning.

Alan Millhone writes: 

Earlier today I had a conversation with one of my long time renters. Next to his building is a very tall and full oak tree and it has begun to release its acorns. The renter was complaining about the mess the tree was making. I told him that the tree in its fullness was shading his side of the building, filtering the air we breathe and cooling that air by about 20 degrees when the hot air (95 degrees here in Belpre today) passes through the branches and leaves to reach his windows. I told him the tree needs to be trimmed sometime, but care must be taken not to injure such a wonderful living thing.

The taller part of the tree has extended its branches over to the gutters of the building, knowing that water flows there when it rains. The tree has deep roots and is solidly anchored. It has learned to withstand gusty winds, hot weather and the cold winters of Ohio. Man can learn much by careful observation of trees and the ways they adapt to many situations. 

Bill Craft writes: 

Working with forest ecology on a daily basis I have seen and studied the adaptive response of trees to stimuli, growth and regeneration. Whether it be seed dispersal, wind, sun or gravity, as earlier stated these responses evolved over many millennia and are fun to observe, admire and use. Something stalwart, romantic and functional about trees. Trees’ persistence to survive always inspires me to take out the cane and invest.


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