At this time of year, I wax philosophic about the trees of the Sea Islands.
I am not alone.
Wick Scurry of Daufuskie Island waxes as much as I do. Lowcountry tree nerds like Wick and I love to compare notes on all things arboreal.
Though they are unproven by science, we agree on several Lowcountry tree theories.
We believe, for example, that trees protect those inhabitants who honor and protect them
from the jagged death of saw blades at any and all costs.
One only has to drive down Plantation Drive in Sea Pines to notice the natural, protective arch branches form over the roads.
Trees also help us get around. Or they once did.
Scurry said live oaks were once used to make boats because the natural curvature of the limbs made for solid bows and sterns. That fact was evidenced by the recent excavation of a 300-year-old canoe from the Daufuskie pluff mud.
We also know the difference between a live oak and an angel oak. According to my deep and thorough research on Facebook, angel oaks are live oaks whose branches have grown so far out and heavy that they begin to grow back downward into the ground.
It is best to allow them to grow their way back down, and not hack off the limb, as the tree knows where it needs to bend and kneel, to cradle us when we need a place to rest, as well as to support our ecosystem
Here’s what Scurry says: “The moral of the story, is don’t cut a live oak, no matter which way it wants to grow, because you might keep it out of the exclusive Angel Oak Club, which takes a hundred plus years to get in. It’s much harder to get in than the Augusta National.”
My own moral is a bit different.
When a tree hugs you, hug it back.