I have lived in Dallas a long time. Specifically in the area frequently referred to as the "southern sector". It sounds like something out of science fiction and at times one does wonder exactly what is going on. Case in point, the recent tree-hacking incident at Loop 12/Ledbetter Road and US HWY 67.
Dallas definitely has a love/hate relationship with its trees.
Most often it manifests as a battle between urban sprawl and nature with nature being the loser. The wondrous thing to me is when the war is waged in a nefarious manner with black ops precision, as the recent incident in north Dallas, at Forest and Josey Lanes would attest.
What makes the Ledbetter incident even more appalling is that we came to discover the perpetrators were ignorant not only of the zoning of the property, but also of the fact that the seventy or more trees destroyed were protected. The Arborist of the City of Dallas has had a very busy month and many interesting facts with which to elucidate us.
Admittedly, we are talking about a very small area within the vast metroplex.
I only bring it up to draw the contrast between the type of person who exhibits such thoughtlessness about trees and someone like Ruth "Ruthie" Rosauer, a woman who really loves trees. Trees and plants and flowers and nuts and fruit and pods, well, you get the point.
Her new book, "These Trees" has been called, "a veritable valentine to the arboreal world." – and I had the distinct pleasure of working with Ruthie to see it to production. I do not know Ruthie well enough to label her a "tree hugger" but I do think she is an artist. She has a way of capturing certain aspects of a tree – the strange pattern of the bark of a Lacebark Elm or the cleansing oxygenation of Bigleaf Maples on the banks of a deep-forest stream.
"These Trees" is an artistic and contemplative exploration of the anatomy of trees. It is interspersed with Ruthie's thoughtful curation of poetry and quotations as well as her own insights. It is a labor of love for Ruthie who spends a great deal of her time in arboretums, national parks, estates and municipal gardens.
I can imagine how Ruthie would react to the tree-hacking that goes on around Dallas.