Trees of Peace



"...Years ago I heard somebody say that all our political and diplomatic conferences ought to be moved out of smoke-filled rooms and held underneath trees...

-  Clyde S. Kilby,   page 159 of “The Lost Myth”, Arts in Society, Vol. 6, 1969.



from justfocus in New Zealand


Imagine if the United Nations met under trees? I imagine their discussions might be a little more fruitful...

Trees are a wonderful mediating influence in our lives.


If a child misbehaves, instead of sending them into a corner have them go outside and sit at the base of a tree...or better yet - in its limbs!

Tell him or her to talk to the tree and listen to its guidance...the children would know exactly what you mean (up until about age 9). No tree out there? ah! now is to the time to plant one.


Here are  2 trees where they gathered under to talk:


Great Elm of Pennsylvania (actually, Great Elm Tree of Shackamaxon)


In 1682, along the banks of the Delaware River, under the shade of a great elm tree, William Penn made a Treaty of Friendship with the Native Americans which led to the founding of Pennsylvania.
William Penn's Treaty with the Indians became a universal symbol of religious and civil liberties. Voltaire made reference to the event in 1764 and artists thoughout Europe recreated the scene first painted by Benjamin West in 1771. Edward Hicks (Peaceable Kingdom) created numerous depictions of the treaty meeting to promote social change.


The "Great Elm" as it was known, remained as a living monument to this event until it fell during a violent storm in 1810. You can still visit Penn Treaty Park.  http://www.penntreatypark.org/.


The descendent of that Tree is still there, now called Penn Treaty Park. It is the original scion of the great grandfather that still blooms in Haverford, Pa. (Haverford College.) More interesting info and pictures can be seen here: Treaty Elm Tree


Treaty Oak (Quercus virginiana)


Treaty Oak in 1970's from Mr G's photos in Picasa


Native Americans of the Austin region preferred to make important decisions under a grove of live oak trees - the so-called Council Oaks.

 Tejas, Apache and Comanche tribes revered these trees. It was here that Stephen F. Austin closed the first boundary line pact with the Indians.

The Austin "treaty oak" is the last survivor of these council oaks and is almost 600 years old




 In 1927 the American Forestry Association proclaimed the Treaty Oak to be "The most perfect specimen of a North American tree" but today it is a shadow of its former self.  In 1989 a vandal poured a large amount of herbicide on the ancient oak.

 The tree went into shock but Ross Perot financed the rescue of this landmark tree  - three and a half feet of contaminated topsoil around the tree were removed and replaced, tall shading screens were erected and spring water was misted onto the leaves every half hour. The Treaty Oak survived but lost many limbs.

They made many products from the fallen branches of the treaty oak - the most popular item for sale seems to be the 'treaty oak gavel' - for use by the judiciary - how fitting! 






Comments

  1. I have long wished for a seating area under the tree outside my office building. Unfortunately, the owner doesn't see the need. But I would love to have staff meetings outside, be able to sit outside and eat my lunch, or just go outside and sit under the tree to gather my thoughts. Maybe I should just be thankful that we have trees around our building!

    ReplyDelete
  2. those staff meetings would be a lot more fun under a tree - and if everyone sat on a mat on the earth...more grounded, alert and, dare I say, amenable to suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Water fountain on seeing gives immediately a peace of mind and it greatly enhances the serenity of the environment. It sets up the prefect situation for stress relaxation.
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  4. Little correction to your “Great Elm of Pennsylvania” ; This Great Elm Tree is/was actually called “Great Elm Tree of Shackamaxon”. The descendent of that Tree is still there, now called Penn Treaty Park. It is the original scion of the great grandfather that still blooms in Haverford, Pa. (Haverford College.)
    More very interesting info and pictures can be seen here: Treaty Elm Tree

    ReplyDelete

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