Pinchot sycamore and Granby oak    Monica Jakuc
   Nov 06, 2005 13:13 PST 

Dear ENTS,

This morning Bob introduced me to the Pinchot sycamore in Simsbury, CT and the Granby, CT oak.

Pinchot Sycamore

As a resident of the Pioneer Valley, MA for 36 years, I have been a
longtime admirer of our Sunderland, MA sycamore, and was quite delighted
to meet a new great sycamore with a totally different character.

The Sunderland sycamore is a center-of-town tree that has been
sheltering and observing humans for centuries. It feels strong and
welcoming and friendly, overhanging road, sidewalk, and neighborís yard.

The Pinchot sycamore lives in a wilder setting, next to the Farmington
River, out in the country. It is striking in its beauty and power: on
first sight, it packs a wallop.   It is a tree with attitude: knowing
its worth, it has managed to get its human admirers to clear a circle of
grass under its canopy, complete with picnic table and obligatory stone
marker. People have even donated money to light it up at night.

One of its smaller limbs has especially enticing mottled bark, and its
larger limbs can compete with some of our white pines in girth. I was
amazed at the difference in energy I experienced as I walked around the
tree; one side seemed more embracing, another more evocative of what I
imagined might be a tree spirit, another seemed to have a darker energy.

Its leaves were variegated in color, from green to yellow to brown, and
in all combinations. It exuded health, unlike the large sycamore nearby
whose leaves were all brown, and who probably didnít have access to as
much water.

The Granby white oak had a whole different character. It, too, is out
in the country, and it certainly went wild with a tree imagination that
produced twisted limbs that kiss the ground. Large as it is, it is an
intimate tree, one which invites you to sit on it, lie on it, hug it.
Its leaves were a monochrome brown, and delicate in feel, unlike the
sycamoreís more umbrella-like effect. I can see why the Druids had
ceremonies under big old oaks; they embrace us humans.

Anyway, it was fun to sense the great differences in character and
energy of the different trees. Iím sure all of you have had similar



Weekend   Robert Leverett
  Nov 07, 2005 06:36 PST 


   Two topics are presented below. The first is for dendromorphometrists
and the second for those disinclined to want to wade through my usual
gobs of numbers. So the first topic deals with the measuring stuff. The
second turns more to the mystical side of trees.


MYSTICAL STUFF (plus some numbers - can't go completely cold turkey):

    Sunday morning Monica and I went for a ride. Monica wanted to see
the Granby oak. However, I had a dual surprise, both in Connecticut. We
first went to the Pinchot sycamore and then the Granby oak. Suffice it
to say that Monica was thoroughly fascinated with both trees. I watched
her as she circled each great tree, pausing frequently to sense the
energy and power of the particualr spot. In most ways her observations
corroborated my own intuitive feel about each tree, feelings that I
normally am disinclined to share with comrades who might be uneasy with
non-scientific musings. But being with Monica made it easy for me to
transpose myself into the psychological realm, hear her perceptions, and
share my own inner feelings about the two great tree beings.

    Up close, the Pinchot sycamore is simply overwhelming. It has a
presence about it that may be unmatched by any other tree in New
England. Its great outstretched limbs both beckon you to come close and
then caution you about getting too familiar. The physical presence of
the Pinchot can't be denied. Of the three dominant laterally stretching
limbs, one is 11 feet around, one 12 feet around, and the other 13. The
circumference now averages 27.7 feet at between 4.3 to 4.8 feet.
However, at ground-level, the Pinchot is an amazing 31.8 feet around and
that crosses over a root bulge instead of following it. Had I followed
the contour of the root bulge, the foot print of the Pinchot would add
another foot and a half if not two feet. Any way you cut it, the
Pinchot's dimensions are impressive. But the emotional impact that this
great tree has on you when up close and personal transcends its physical
size. As Monica sagely observed, the Pinchot has an attitude. It is as
if it knows it is a great being, and when you are in its space, it
expects obeisance. It does not require love, merely respect. Monica, who
claims the fine Sunderland Sycamore as her own, told me that she was
prepared to dislike the Pinchot. But she is captivated with the great
tree and its attitude.

     Monica and I agree that the Granby oak is a friendlier tree than
the Pinchot. My sense about it is that it is intent on exploring its
natural surroundings independent of how humans might be reacting to it.
It's happy to have people around, but doesn't need them. The two trees
couldn't be more unalike in the impact they have. I have long wanted to
explore the psychological impact of different trees on those who are
sensitive to trees in general. What attracts me is a kind of extension,
at a reduced level of scholarliness, to the work of the late, great Dr.
Michael Perlman. Mike was the most gifted scholar I ever knew who
seriously investigated the multi-dimensional nature of trees. With my
partner Monica as a gifted participant, I think this work can be
resumed. It had its genesis with me in the sensings of my dear late wife
Jani, who would put her head against the trunk of a tree and find
herself in other worlds. When Jani became very ill, her inner ability to
communicate with the trees subsided. I have been given a great gift to
once again have a mate that is so sensitive to "The Power of Trees" and
can relate not only to their individuality in the sense of physical
beauty, but go far beyond. My great friend Michael Perlman would be
proud. Yes, and dear Colby would be likewise. I'd like to believe that
those two great tree spirits are out there somewhere, as is Jani, gently
nudging us, encouraging us, and showing us the way to relate to trees in
psychic ways that may be the pathways to an ever-expanding awareness of
the connectivity that exists between all living things, or perhaps I
should have said all things.


Robert T. Leverett
Cofounder, Eastern Native Tree Society