I don’t like the phrase, “Tree Hugger.” It makes it sound like anyone who appreciates nature deserves to be insulted.
I love trees. Trees speak to me of God’s great love for diversity. They make the world beautiful where I live from the evergreens to the pastel blossoms in spring, the leafy greens of summer, and the blazes of color that explode in autumn.
I tried to get an actual count of tree species for North America and I the world. Numbers ranged from 10,000 to 100,000 with the discrepancy being the argument about what is a bush or a what is a tree.
That number of trees, as only one example, speaks to me of God’s creativity. If a person is an absolute student of evolution, then the survival of the fittest should be the rule. Why is there not just one species of oak tree in the world? In the region where I live, there are at least 18 different types of oak trees. Why would the evolutionary process have produced so many different types of fruit trees – apples for example?
Trees play an important role in the lives of men. They use up carbon dioxide an give off oxygen. Where would we be without them? They are also important in the nitrogen cycle. They provide fruit for our nourishment, shade for our rest, and lumber for our homes and furniture. They are a source of food, fragrance, and beauty.
In the area where I live we have one of the three temperate deciduous mixed mesophytic old growth forests in the world. Blanton Forest is an incredibly beautiful old growth forest in Harlan County. When I was teaching school, my students and I often went into that forest on field trips. We documented over 100 different types of tree in our county. We live in the area where the softwoods grew before the last ice age. When the ice moved south, it brought with it the seeds of the northern hardwoods. All of those species thrive in our area currently.
Everything that God created is good. The Bible compares men and life to trees – the branches, roots, leaves, shade, and fruit. From the oldest redwoods which I have never seen to the hemlock growing in my back yard, I stand in awe of God’s design in each of them. Man has yet to create anything as useful or diversified as a tree.