Written April 17, 2012     

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© 2017 Bob Lonsberry


62 Responses

Note: Comments of readers are their own and do not reflect the feelings of Bob Lonsberry or lonsberry.com.

# 1. 4/17/12 7:41 AM by Jim S - Chester, VA
Sounds peaceful even with all the chaisawing. You might want to plan a walk through the Zoar Valley, it is at least Old Growth, may be original.

# 2. 4/17/12 8:15 AM by Earl
Doesn't Rush have a song about this topic?

"There is unrest in the forest, there is trouble with the trees. For the maples want more sunlight and the oaks ignore their pleas."

Trees. I'm a little obsessed myself. Do you know how a tree gets on the internet?

It logs in.

# 3. 4/17/12 8:22 AM by Rick G. - Spencerport, NY
thumbsup.gif My land was loaded with white pine and scotch pines. Bark beetles are decimating the scotch pines, so I've been planting mixed varieties of pines like crazy. I realize that these are for the next generation, since I doubt I'll be around to see them at their maturity. Maybe I just like digging holes.

Nice column, Bob. Henry David Lonsberry has a pleasant ring to it.

# 4. 4/17/12 8:26 AM by kittynana - Lewiston NY
As if I weren't depressed enough today....

# 5. 4/17/12 8:49 AM by Poplar Beach
I have walked, or a better description might be crawled in old growth forest in British Columbia. Untouched by man, a pretty dark place with towering Doug Firs letting little sun in, fallen trees a jumble on the forest floor. Too large to step over, so crawling a few hundred yards is a work out.

Wildlife in abundance, not hardly, too dark and damp, but for an occasional red squirrel and a few wood peckers.

Nearby replanted forests, managed for quick growth, alive with birds and other critters, for them, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I hate seeing clear cut forests of the North West, and many streams have been denuded of trout because the shade that kept the water temperature down was removed. But in most places the rules have changed and trees within some hundred feet have to be left to shade the streams and prevent erosion, so the trout are back.

The nearby clear cut areas with newly planted trees are prime elk and deer habitat and some day the wood from them will be used to build houses.

I am obsessed with trees too, I have tapped the maples, climbed high in the pines, eaten the fruit and nuts from them; and my chain saws have cut dying elms and ash by the truckload to feed the home fires for many years.

I have never hugged a tree, and I resent folks who protect them to the extreme for a single species like the Spotted Owl, but I too count the rings when I fall a large one, contemplating the passing of time.

# 6. 4/17/12 8:54 AM
thumbsdown.gif It's unfortunate that you choose on most days to think and act like the trees you describe rather than a human being.

As some have said people are the missing link between apes and humans

# 7. 4/17/12 9:52 AM by Will - WVC, UT
thumbsup.gif After recently returning from a desert overseas I was walking through my neighborhood and taking in all the trees, grass, and birds singing, I was marveling at how blessed I am to live in this land.

# 8. 4/17/12 10:00 AM
thumbsup.gif "Now it's not that clear cut." LOL

So what species do you plan on planting?

# 9. 4/17/12 10:25 AM
Beautifully written. Thanks Bob.

# 10. 4/17/12 10:38 AM by Don - Fort Worth
I'm not a tree hugger, but that was pretty good.

# 11. 4/17/12 11:04 AM by roy b. - swain, ny
"Happiness is a warm chainsaw". The inside of a tree is essentially dead wood. Only the cambium, the layer under the bark is alive and growing. Trees will hang on to life with just a sliver to grow from. It is hard to kill a tree. We should learn from the trees that life is forgiving and precious.

Editor's Note: and the leaves and the roots

# 12. 4/17/12 11:04 AM by Hm - Rochester
I see the obligatory Rush lyrics have already been posted.

So all I'll say is that in ~40 years I've come to learn that life is for the strong, and the weak are there for the strong to prey on. Being preyed on doesn't exactly always mean you'll die, you'll just always be secondary, subject to, and in the shadow of those that are stronger. Mentally and physically speaking.

This is true of plants, animals and people. And yes, being really smart is a good plan B if you can't be strong.

# 13. 4/17/12 11:05 AM by Patrick - Syracuse, NY
Wish I had planted more trees when I was younger! There is a recently discovered (within the past 15 years) ancient forest just on the outskirts of Syracuse, near Camillus. It is called a "Unique Area" and the DEC has control over it. You can hike up to it in 10 minutes or so from the parking area. Not sure what might have come down in the Labor Day storm of '98. It's been a little while since I've been there.

# 14. 4/17/12 11:18 AM
I've seen trees from both sides now, from up and down, and still somehow, it's trees' illusions I recall. I really don't know trees at all.

# 15. 4/17/12 11:18 AM by Chad - Owego, NY
I hope you're selling those ash trees (if they're big enough). Good money to be had there.

Editor's Note: for firewood. ash isn't a particularly valuable wood.

# 16. 4/17/12 11:28 AM
Try drawing or painting pictures of trees then you'll really get to know them. All the different limb configurations, barks, leaf twists and turns, etc.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If there is a tree in it that will take 950 of those words.

Well, unless there is a semi-clothed hot chick in the picture.

# 17. 4/17/12 11:32 AM by casual observer
Yeah, right...I think this was a bet you had with a guy in a bar - that you couldn't use the word PHOTOTROPISM in an upcoming column...

Editor's Note: actually, it was a woman, and it was "priapism."

# 18. 4/17/12 12:25 PM by Cal - Rochester, NY

I used to cut a lot of firewood with a crosscut with my teacher Dad. Guess that is where I got my tree education. But the question seems to be understanding people...

Example; WHY does a woman set fire to her house and burns up her children? Ms Kugler was mad at her boyfriend and burned his pictures up! I bet she never considered the conseqences of her actions, she was so upset!

Also why do some women ditch their husbands and security to run off with a bum without any security to offer by him?

I know that I will never understand women!

Bob,you see a lot of the seamy side of life up close! You seem to escape it by consentrating on trees. What ever it takes, keep on being you!


# 19. 4/17/12 12:34 PM by Poplar Beach
I think I had Priapism when I was a teenager.

Who knew?

Editor's Note: mine's lasted going on 40 years

# 20. 4/17/12 12:42 PM by Old Ham - Great_Basin
Back in 1994 we visited Great Basin National Park, just over the border into Nevada. Hiked 13,063-foot Wheeler Peak, and camped at 9,886 feet.

Fantastic place.

There is a forest of Bristle Cone Pines that are 5000 years old. Intrigued, I purchased a potted one from the local nursery and planted it in the front yard. Tough little bugger, but after almost 20 years it is still only 2 feet tall. I hope whoever gets the house after I’m dead keeps it around.

# 21. 4/17/12 12:53 PM by Tom Dey - Springwater, NY
Son and I felled, split, hauled and burned nearly 150 full cords over 25 years. Locust are good burning and stringy. Hydro splitter sure helps on those. We lose a couple hunters and a couple wood cutters most years. A chain saw is as dangerous as a shot gun; just waiting for one foolish over-reaching moment. Old "Mending Wall" stone runs 300 yards twixt neighbor and us - testament to when farmers clear-cut to plow behind horses. I look at those rocks through new woods, each meticulously placed by men now dead. The trees attack the wall and each other. There's no beating them.

# 22. 4/17/12 1:11 PM by Lee K - Syracuse, NY
thumbsup.gif I read comment #14 and glanced back up and expected to see Rick G.'s signature. Alas, he posted, quite stoically, back up @ #3...

# 23. 4/17/12 1:12 PM by Tom Dey - Springwater, NY
Thanks for the new word! I just looked up "priapism" and will slip it into causal conversation until it sticks. I mistakenly thought it referred to getting a recalcitrant lid off a jelly jar...

# 24. 4/17/12 2:08 PM by Connie - Spencerport, NY
thumbsup.gif This has nothing to do with trees except that newspapers are made from them! I was rereading the mailer we got from the D & C about their great idea to charge us more for services not all of us want, need or will use. I noticed there is a post-paid return envelope in it and Michael G Kane, President & Publisher, is eagerly awaiting our reply to sign up, hopefully by automatic monthly payments drawn from our accounts! What a guy!! So I figured might as well use the envelope, so I'm returning his "energizing news announcement" to Mr. Kane with my regards and a "thanks but no thanks," does he think we just fell off the turnip truck or what?" Nice try, Mr. Kane. I will be cancelling my home delivery the end of the month. Put those envelopes to good use! Pass it on!!

# 25. 4/17/12 2:14 PM by William
F'ing hippie tree-hugger!

# 26. 4/17/12 2:38 PM by Andre Tesla
Joyce Kilmer wrote nice poems about trees. Did you know that trees are the solution to our energy problems? No, not burning the wood, but generating electricity with them. If you have a woods you can wire the trees together to generate electricity like a giant battery. And the supply is virtually endless and free. The power you can extract is basically stored solar energy. You have finally connected with nature, grasshopper... I am currently running my whole house and over 300 acres of my farm on trees, all with zero pollution.

Editor's Note: 1. you're nuts 2. joyce kilmer wrote one poem about trees 3. sgt. joyce kilmer died in combat in the service of the united states.

# 27. 4/17/12 2:58 PM by hc
Jacaranda trees.

It's a gorgeous tree, but I just like saying the word.


# 28. 4/17/12 3:07 PM by Beth - Beautiful Canisteo Valley
thumbsup.gif Beautiful column Bob. #14, the melody popped back into my head the minute I read your post. Always loved that song.

# 29. 4/17/12 4:08 PM by Officer Friendly
This morning you ranted for a half hour about the president of the police locust club. You read three letters to your radio audience and condemned each one WITH PASSION.

When Mazzeo came on the air, you really stuck it to him (NOT). Where was the Mr. Tough Guy attitude you had while reading the letters?

You are such a joke.

Editor's Note: actually, mazzeo on the air was already a broke man. you don't kick a guy when he's down. he was wrong, he knew it, listeners knew it, there's not point in grandstanding. did you hear his voice? he was penitent.

# 30. 4/17/12 4:34 PM by Howard Appell - Town of Granger
Bob, I like ash for burning. True, it's about 30 percent less dense than oak, maple or beach, but in a pinch it burns green. And if you split by hand, there is no nicer species. And now we have the added benefit of no guilt when cutting a big one down, since the borer will soon have all of them gone anyway.

Editor's Note: i wonder if this borer thing is really going to materialize. the sky doesn't tend to fall, and alarms usually end up being false. i'm holding off on cutting down very many ash until some of them actually start to die. the purple color of ash leaves in the fall is my favorite color.

# 31. 4/17/12 4:43 PM by hc
Killing two birds with one stone...there's Twin Trees..the pizza place in Syracuse. A fairly tasty pie, if my memory serves me right, though it was never my favorite...


# 32. 4/17/12 5:43 PM by Andre
If you're so smart, why are you always complaining about money? And I can prove you can get electricity from trees. And why do I care about Joyce Kilmers's death? And as far as I'm concerned, you only wrote one good article in your whole life and it is way less known than Kilmer's poem about trees...Duh! Change your name to Goofberry!

# 33. 4/17/12 8:47 PM by Ana Lee - Herriman, UT
thumbsup.gif I appreciated your column today. It was touching and I saw a different side of you. One can stand a little taller and appreciate what we have on this earth

# 34. 4/17/12 9:38 PM by Tony P
Hey Bob-

no, you are not nuts you've just learned to value one of God's creations....good job.

I have chopped down (chainsawed actually) most likely hundreds of trees. And like any animal I shoot they are well used almost entirely.

However also, I have planted hundreds of trees and shrubs as well. So I guess it sorts balances out.

Yes in Zoar valley there is some old growth, but there is old growth in a lot of other places too. One of my properties has apple trees at least 3' thick and another has some oaks over 4' diameter. There is old growth on Hemlock lake and some in Hi Tor. Even in front of Leroy school there is a tree thats at least 200 years old. Some oaks that old right on main st in Naples too.

It pains me to see all the hedgerows being ripped out now as well. I guess a few more bushels of corn take priority though.



You can count on the ash borer. There are literally tens of thousands of dead ashes in my area and the borer crossed the river in the thousand islands into Canada. So it will be appearing in a tree near you soon.

# 36. 4/18/12 12:37 AM by DaWiz - San Antonio, Texas
thumbsup.gif How about going on the internet to a California Redwood or Sequoia tree seller? Just Imagine the stateliness of a few of them after 20 to 30 years. If memory serves, they can be bought in 1 to 2 foot heights and in multiple sets.

# 37. 4/18/12 6:58 AM by little john - Mt.Morris,N.Y.
thumbsup.gif I enjoyed your column. It is a very insightful analogy to life to be sure. Seeing the forest butt for the trees, in harmony; from a distance, one realized that the closely examined life is no picnic...and one hell of a soulful melody...

# 38. 4/18/12 7:28 AM by Dave - Penfield
Red light cameras are the bomb! Not only do they bring revenue, but heck - they offer TIME TRAVEL!!!!

Must be true, it's the headline in today's paper.

# 39. 4/18/12 7:50 AM
Would you consider yourself to know more about people, trees, or women? It's just the sociological curiosity that I'm wondering about.

Editor's Note: i've found that, typically, most of the time, women are people, actually.

# 40. 4/18/12 7:55 AM
When I saw Louise Slaughter in her 80's with a broken leg, I said to myself, this women is running again. What a joke, for heavens sake, what is going on.

# 41. 4/18/12 7:55 AM by Dave - Elma,NY
thumbsup.gif You are writing my thoughts. Most people wish for a time machine to go back in time to see their past or historic events. I dream of being able to go back and see the forests that were here when Europeans first landed. Or go forward in time to see what a reclaimed New York forest will look like 200-300 years from now.

# 42. 4/18/12 8:11 AM by Jodi - Wayne County East
God's self renewing source of food, energy, oxygen, shade and building material.

# 43. 4/18/12 8:27 AM by Mike - Rush
thumbsup.gif I do the same thing. As we both bought our land about the same time, and I think near close by. I have a ton of ash, pines, apples and scrub. I'm trying to do the best by the best trees. I've planted some locust etc. The deer seem to eat everything new. It's easy to get caught up in your new property. Watch everything about it. Want to improve it. Sometimes I wonder if I am. Sure is fun trying.

# 44. 4/18/12 8:44 AM by Jodi - Wayne County East
Good thing He decided to share them with all you unbelievers and silly big bang people too.

# 45. 4/18/12 9:14 AM by Captain "Guy" De La Poission - Somewhere between here and there...
Good morning Bob. Ash is the king of fire wood ! at least that's what Lady Celia Congreve 's poem from 1929 indicates.Titled "the firewood poem"

# 46. 4/18/12 10:38 AM by Frank - Gates
Editor's Note: actually, mazzeo on the air was already a broke man. you don't kick a guy when he's down. he was wrong, he knew it, listeners knew it, there's not point in grandstanding. did you hear his voice? he was penitent.

While reading one of my last home delivered D&C's, I notice an article in the local section that says Mazzeo stands by his letters. This is totally contrary to you saying that he was penitent. It doesn't sound like he is a "broken man" according to the article.

So it looks like Officer Friendly is correct when he implied that you are milk toast when it comes to a tough interview. You fire up your listeners in anticipation of a Mazzeo interview but then when it came to confronting him with the same fire in your belly you chickened out.

Editor's Note: or maybe mazzeo just felt he could b.s. a d&c reporter more than he could me.

# 47. 4/18/12 11:05 AM by ad nauseum
# 18. Cal - "why do some women ditch their husbands and security to run off with a bum without any security to offer by him?" .. only God gives us security.

Bob makes a choice to look at life the way he does. I knew a guy who loves trees too and he fell out of one while pickin fruit and died so I guess the trees didn't love him.

# 48. 4/18/12 11:18 AM by Jamie - Penfield
Re: Afghan Pics

In any organization (work, school, military etc…) there is always a group of people who are just not thinking about the ramifications of their actions or how it will affect others. Then on top of it we are sending “boys” over who can barely think for themselves and do not have the maturity to deal with certain situations… I am not saying what they did was right or because they are so young an excuse but if we do not want these things to happen then the government needs to take some responsibility in training our citizens who are over there fighting on what is acceptable behaviour and what is NOT.

# 49. 4/18/12 11:20 AM by North Chili Patriot
You are obsessed. You're not seeing the trees for the forest.

# 50. 4/18/12 11:49 AM by birdie
I like the native american Indian belief that everything is alive and has energy which rings the bell in me as opposed to someone like #11 Rob I read it and it's like is that all you've got?

and Cal, listen up, Bob thinks you're a freak! And if this article depresses Kittyanna then shes living on dishonesty island.

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