The geezer trees


The internet has something for everyone, including the advanced-age contingent desperately trolling websites looking for a tidbit to suggest that they still matter.

That news came yesterday in the form of a global study of trees that reached a surprising conclusion. Big old trees suck up much more carbon than younger trees and continue to grow aggressively in their later years, overturning the depressing expectations about aging and decline that appear to remain true with just about every other living thing.

Somehow, elderly trees manage to stay relevant. They dominate the forest. Of course this cheerful news demanded a parody of what may be America’s best-known tree poem. With apologies and thanks to Joyce Kilmer

I’m thrilled to hear this new decree
That old age benefits a tree.

An elder tree, with vigor blessed
adds height and girth and all the rest

At rates that common sense confounds!
But old folks also put on pounds,

and widen out and suck up space.
Should old trees be less in your face?

The answer: an emphatic “No!”
These geezer trees – please let them grow!

And when an elder tree expands
wrap ancient trunk with heart and hands

and hug it tight! It’s adding mass
to kick those young trees’ woody ass.

What improves with age?