sycamore and Granby oak
06, 2005 13:13 PST
This morning Bob introduced me to the Pinchot sycamore in
and the Granby, CT oak.
As a resident of the Pioneer Valley, MA for 36 years, I have
longtime admirer of our Sunderland, MA sycamore, and was quite
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
welcoming and friendly, overhanging road, sidewalk, and
The Pinchot sycamore lives in a wilder setting, next to the
River, out in the country. It is striking in its beauty and
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
grass under its canopy, complete with picnic table and
marker. People have even donated money to light it up at night.
One of its smaller limbs has especially enticing mottled bark,
larger limbs can compete with some of our white pines in girth.
amazed at the difference in energy I experienced as I walked
tree; one side seemed more embracing, another more evocative of
imagined might be a tree spirit, another seemed to have a darker
Its leaves were variegated in color, from green to yellow to
in all combinations. It exuded health, unlike the large sycamore
whose leaves were all brown, and who probably didnít have
access to as
The Granby white oak had a whole different character. It, too,
in the country, and it certainly went wild with a tree
produced twisted limbs that kiss the ground. Large as it is, it
intimate tree, one which invites you to sit on it, lie on it,
Its leaves were a monochrome brown, and delicate in feel, unlike
sycamoreís more umbrella-like effect. I can see why the Druids
ceremonies under big old oaks; they embrace us humans.
Anyway, it was fun to sense the great differences in character
energy of the different trees. Iím sure all of you have had
07, 2005 06:36 PST
Two topics are presented below. The first is
and the second for those disinclined to want to wade through my
gobs of numbers. So the first topic deals with the measuring
second turns more to the mystical side of trees.
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
first went to the Pinchot sycamore and then the Granby oak.
to say that Monica was thoroughly fascinated with both trees. I
her as she circled each great tree, pausing frequently to sense
energy and power of the particualr spot. In most ways her
corroborated my own intuitive feel about each tree, feelings
normally am disinclined to share with comrades who might be
non-scientific musings. But being with Monica made it easy for
transpose myself into the psychological realm, hear her
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
then caution you about getting too familiar. The physical
the Pinchot can't be denied. Of the three dominant laterally
limbs, one is 11 feet around, one 12 feet around, and the other
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
that crosses over a root bulge instead of following it. Had I
the contour of the root bulge, the foot print of the Pinchot
another foot and a half if not two feet. Any way you cut it, the
Pinchot's dimensions are impressive. But the emotional impact
great tree has on you when up close and personal transcends its
size. As Monica sagely observed, the Pinchot has an attitude. It
if it knows it is a great being, and when you are in its space,
expects obeisance. It does not require love, merely respect.
claims the fine Sunderland Sycamore as her own, told me that she
prepared to dislike the Pinchot. But she is captivated with the
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
natural surroundings independent of how humans might be reacting
It's happy to have people around, but doesn't need them. The two
couldn't be more unalike in the impact they have. I have long
explore the psychological impact of different trees on those who
sensitive to trees in general. What attracts me is a kind of
at a reduced level of scholarliness, to the work of the late,
Michael Perlman. Mike was the most gifted scholar I ever knew
seriously investigated the multi-dimensional nature of trees.
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
Jani, who would put her head against the trunk of a tree and
herself in other worlds. When Jani became very ill, her inner
communicate with the trees subsided. I have been given a great
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
beauty, but go far beyond. My great friend Michael Perlman would
proud. Yes, and dear Colby would be likewise. I'd like to
those two great tree spirits are out there somewhere, as is Jani,
nudging us, encouraging us, and showing us the way to relate to
psychic ways that may be the pathways to an ever-expanding
the connectivity that exists between all living things, or
should have said all things.
Robert T. Leverett
Cofounder, Eastern Native Tree Society