San Francisco, bare root trees are nature’s antidepressants

At Cold Stream Farm, we deal in wholesale/retail bare root trees and shrubs.  What is a bare root tree?  A quick refresher: bare root trees are carefully dug up at nurseries, with the dirt around the roots removed, and sold.  As a result, they have a well-developed root system.  They are not grown in containers and thus not stifled; the trees have a better chance of rooting well.  Imagine if there was such a thing as a bare root heart.  Perhaps our emotions would better root.  On some days, it seems our hearts have been grown in test tubes or containers, but that is a digression for another time…

Although a bit of an understatement, trees are powerful.  Not only are they an essential part of the ecosystem, they are also an essential part of the heart’s ecosystem.  The poet Robert Graves sums it up nicely: “Walking through trees to cool my heat and pain, / I know that David’s with me here again.  / All that is simple, happy, strong, he is.  / Caressingly I stroke / Rough bark of the friendly oak.” The poem is entitled “Not Dead” and it reminds us that trees are brimming with vivid life.  They make us feel better; they are nature’s antidepressants.  That is why the situation in San Francisco is such a downer.

Bare root trees are nature's antidepressantsMany trees in Golden Gate Park will be put to sleep, as if they were old and loyal pets.  In the article “Golden Gate Park’s aging trees to fall,” Will Kane of SFGate writes, “City park workers will fell almost 150 Monterey pine, cypress and eucalyptus trees in Golden Gate Park.” Their time is, unfortunately, up.  They are between 80 and 100 years old, unhealthy, dead or a risk to park visitors.  City officials really have no choice.  These trees can barely stand up straight, many falling or losing branches.  A crack in a tree, for example, indicates stress on the tree.  There are a lot of cracks in Golden Gate Park.

The situation in San Francisco is bittersweet.  It will improve safety for visitors and citizens.  However, cutting down the trees is taking away from San Francisco’s identity.  Some of these trees are over a century old!  They are living breathing reminders of the city’s growth and development.  Nevertheless, the trees must come down.

The city should look into planting some bare root trees.  Are city officials asking one another, should we plant bare root trees?  What do you think?  After all, trees are nature’s antidepressants.  The city WILL need to replace the old trees.

For more information on the Golden Gate trees, you can find Kane’s article here.


*Image courtesy of Paul.h at en.wikipedia