The Songs of Trees


Our lives are deeply connected to those of trees. The oxygen in our lungs, the wood in our houses, the water in our taps, the natural diversity and beauty of our planet all depend on forests.

David Haskell,  a Pulitzer Finalist and recipient of numerous writing and teaching awards, looks at our connection to trees in his latest book, The Songs of Trees.

“I traveled to about a dozen different trees around the world, some here in Colorado and others overseas, in the Amazon, in Jerusalem and Europe, and sat and listened to trees. Literally listened to the acoustics of trees, talked to people whose lives were connected with trees, to discern the many ways that people and trees are interconnected. And that interconnection is universal, wherever I went – people’s lives, people’s cultures, both at an individual level and at a level of communities, were deeply connected with trees and with forests.”

In the Front Range, this connection is particularly strong with the local economy and ecology of the region being dependent on the health of forests. Ponderosa Pine ecosystems are dominant in the Foothills, with Douglas Fir and Lodge pole Pine forests and then Spruce Forests at higher elevations.

Yet these forests are changing rapidly. Rob Addington, a Landscape Ecologist with The Nature Conservancy, and  a leader in the study of the forests of the Front Range, says urbanization, fire, drought, and other changes are significantly impacting our forests.

“Fire is of course the big one. These are fire adapted systems, so fire has occurred throughout time on the Front Range, but what we’re seeing more recently is just an increase in overall wildfire activity and an increase in some of the size of the wildfires just in the last few decades and we’re particularly concerned about fire severity and these really large scale high severity fires that have impacts to the people living in the Foothills and what we call the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) and other values such as water, wildlife habitats and those kinds of things.”


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Haskell and Addington will speak about trees on Tuesday May 8th, 7:30pm. At the Boulder Book Store: 1107 Pearl Street, Boulder, CO.

Event co-sponsored by The Nature Conservancy, CU Museum of Natural History, and The Boulder Book Store.




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