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Grey Owl wrote a famous story called The TREE in 1937.


The age of a tree can be accurately estimated by means of the concentric rings, one for each year.


SIX HUNDRED AND fifty years ago or thereabouts, a squirrel picked up a jack-pine cone that he had dropped amongst a score or so of others, from a tree-top on the neighbouring side-hill and carried it on its ways for deposit in a cache of ripe, juicy cones that he had commenced. right in the centre of a pass in the Rocky Mountains. Arriving at his granary, he saw something that interested him, a little to the left, dropped the cone and went there, and forgot ever to come back.


There were probably a dozen cones laying there and the cache, not being completed was yet uncovered and the cones eventually became scattered some few feet apart by the action of the wind and rain. They passed the Winter successfully, and the following year took root, and most of them sprouted up as little jack-pines. Immediately the struggle for the survival of the fittest began. Each seedling tried to outgrow his neighbour in order to reach for the sun, on the light of which their tiny lives depended. Thus they all grew rapidly in a kind of a race, rather a grim one for things so tender and infinitesimal. And some were slower than others and paid the penalty; they were soon overshadowed by their more precocious brethren, became sickly from lack of sunlight, were smothered and died.


On as day that Autumn a deer passed, and being on the lookout for something tasty, ate the top, and the ends of all the shoots off one of them, and by Spring the tree was only a dried stick. During the Winter, rabbits being numerous they stripped the bark off some of the rest, girdling them very neatly up as high as they could reach, so that these also died. Four or five years later a bull moose, during late Summer, used one of them as a scarping post to remove the velvet from his antlers, breaking it down, along with several others, in the process.


At the end of two decades the survivors were sizable young trees, and all had a fighting chance to live to a ripe old age, when a porcupine happened along, barked cleanly from top to bottom all but one of them and went on his way to richer fields of exploitation of the country’s timber resources.


Being alone, the one that remained attracted no further attention from potential enemies and grew undisturbed for a century or so, becoming a tree of noble proportions, though in its exposed position, standing high in the mountain pass at the brink of the prairies, it tended to be heavy of trunk and wide spread of limb, rather than tall; and its topmost branches were bent around and over, trained permanently by the prevailing south-east wind from the plains, and pointed, like great dark arms in a sweeping gestures, always towards the north.


The tree withstood the terrific winds, sometimes of tornado velocity, that blew constantly upon it from the prairies, far below, drought, rain and snowstorm, and all the elements, each with its own specialized form of destructiveness, tried to kill, uproot, ot blast it, or break it down. None the less it flourished, nay, appeared to thrive on such treatment, either becoming extraordinarily hardy on account of the resistance it was forced to put up, or else it lived because it was, in the first place, unusually sturdy. Either way, it increased to an immense girth, and after two centuries of life its limbs, themselves as big as small trees, gnarled, twisted and overhanging, made a wide, arched canopy under whose shade many a passing beast took shelter from the hot sun of summer-time, or refuge from the storms of winter....



It goes on to talk about an Indian chief and how the tree affected his life... It is an amazing story ...

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