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If A Tree Falls In The Forest….

April 9, 2021

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” is a philosophical thought experiment that raises questions regarding observation and knowledge of reality.

I live in the rain forest of Western North Carolina and I can assure you that when a tree falls and I’m around to hear it, it definitely makes a sound. It also makes a statement. With every crash of a falling tree, our environment gets just a little poorer.

We have lived in our current location for about 9 years. In that time, just in our neighborhood, I have seen over a hundred trees taken down. These were removed not because of imminent danger of falling onto houses, etc. but rather their removal was hastened by the irrational fear of newly arrived residents from other states who don’t understand the importance of trees. Trees are a natural and much-needed component of our planet. They supply the oxygen we breath, homes for birds, mammals and insects and provide the very beauty of our surroundings.

I saw the clear-cut mentality first hand when I lived in Oregon. There the motivating factor for tree cutting was simply greed and money. On any given hill, it didn’t look horrible. However, when flying into Portland, the nightmare became very real. Most of the western half of the entire state is checker boarded with clear cuts. The streams are silted, preventing salmon and steelhead reproduction. There is less oxygen production and the whole affair is just plain ugly. Oregon’s economy has always been wood but it had become overkill in every sense of the word.

Returning to North Carolina, yes we are the world’s supplier of toothpicks and I guess that makes the environment a little better in terms of bad breath. However our forests are rapidly being depleted in the name of progress and acquiescing to newly arrived out of staters from Florida, New Jersey and New York who are accustomed to flat, denuded landscapes and seek to impose this ideal on the local populace here in North Carolina. Yikes, even Californians are invading as I write this.

If a tree falls in the forest and the forest is in North Carolina, then surely the culprit is from the north or south (and west). People hereabouts have more sense!

PS – Just yesterday morning, an elderly family from Massachusetts took down 6 large Carolina Pines on their back yard. Why? Fear of falling toothpicks?

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10 Comments
  1. I have to see it anywhere and especially in Southern California where any trees capabke of providing shade is a rare commodity. When I see mature trees being capriciously chopped down I want to scream Tree Murderer at the perp..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a beautiful part of the country.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Reblogged this on Janet's Thread 2 and commented:
    Trees have souls. Don’t cut them down indiscriminately

    Liked by 2 people

  4. There are responsible and irresponsible ways of obtaining timber. Clear-cutting is the latter. I read on a blog yesterday how some people bought a beautiful property and dig up or mowed down all the flowering plants. What is wrong with some people? If you don’t like trees, don’t move to a forest.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. As much as I love wood furniture, etc. I agree that the chopping down of forests has got to stop. Humans breed like rabbits and oxygen is needed for all of them.

    Liked by 3 people

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