Influenced by "The Proust Questionnaire"- confessional questionnaires completed by Marcel Proust in 1886 and 1890-1891- I am sending out Tree Questionnaires to people in different walks of life who share with me a love of trees. My first victim, Kate Holt, is a writer from England- who this year became a US Citizen- and a fellow Santa Monica Treesaver. Here are her comments:
Q: What is your first memory of a tree?
K: Sitting under the almond blossom tree in our garden (England), soft scent, petals falling like snow.
Q: Which is your favorite tree of all?
K: Blossoming lime (linden) tree.
Q: Could you name or describe an artistic depiction of a tree that is special to you?
K: From childhood, the illustration of a tree house in my cherished Tall Book of Tales.
Q: Was there a particular person who introduced you to the importance of trees?
K: Mother and father, who continue to plant many varieties of trees on their property in England.
Q: What is the most useful quality a tree can provide?
K: Protection - as shelter for wildlife and shade for the rest of us.
Q: If you were a tree which would you be and why?
K: Coast redwood - breathes California's cool ocean air, lives longer than most and enjoys superlative views.
Q: Which is the happiest tree?
K: Apple tree - what could be happier than a tree bearing sweet red fruit?
Q: Are there any trees that are a part of your life now?
K: The kapok tree outside our bedroom window with its cycle of glorious pink flowers, green leafiness, plump seeds, and bare branches that cast exquisite shadows on the wall.
Q: What would you do, or like to do to help trees?
K: Nurture our urban forests and cherish trees everywhere.
Q: What would you say to future generations about the importance of trees?
K: Only connect - marvel at their complexity, beauty, and utility. Trees mysteriously commune with the earth and the sky, above and beneath which we would cease to exist without them.