Course on Care of Trees (Classic Reprint)

Course on Care of Trees (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Course on Care of Trees

In taking up the discussion of the care of trees, the first things to consider are the anatomy and physiology of tree life. We must understand the tree itself before we can intelligently care for it. We must know the conditions and environment most favorable to it and understand the food it needs and know how and where this is obtained. We must also know the way this food is assimilated and digested and changed over into tissue. And then, in order to preserve the health of the tree, we must also be familiar with the enemies which attack it, and it is necessary to understand the enemies in order to combat and overcome them.

How does a tree grow and why? Life is truly a wonderful thing. We seldom consider how wonderful, and even when we allow ourselves to ponder on this great subject, or study it carefully and intelligently, we are wholly unable to grasp the wonders and marvels and magnitude of it. The subject is unquestionably so much greater and so far beyond our comprehension that we are only faintly able to realize its meaning and feel that we are only a part of it, an important part to be sure, but still only a manifestation of it.

And yet, in us, life is so highly developed that we may intelligently think and consider and study the great laws of life, that same life which renders us the very privilege of living and experiencing and thinking.

At once we find that everything which comes within the source of our knowledge may be classed under two heads - those things which are animate, and those which are inanimate. Those which are animate are composed of those which are or have been inanimate and they will finally return again to the inanimate state. Therefore, everything animat depends upon things inanimate.

Again, we find that everything animate is divided into two great divisions or kingdoms, the animal kingdom and the vegetable kingdom.

Starting with the highest types of each kingdom - man on one side and trees on the other - and working down through the succession of lower forms of life from which they have been developed by the progress of evolution, we find that the two lines approach each other more and more the lower we go.

That is to say, there is less difference between the lower specimens of animal life and vegetable life than there is between men and trees. Finally, if we go back far enough we find living organisms which we are unable to classify as either animals or vegetables.

In other words, the two lines have approached each other and finally met, which means that animals and vegetables originated from the same source.

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