by Peter B.
Every year, the beautiful cherry trees located near the bell tower begin to flower and blossom in the spring, and everyone marvels in their beauty. We stand next to it and use it as a backdrop for our ceremonies like MHCSD and our opening ceremony at the beginning of the year.
However, not everyone takes the time to appreciate their beauty, and their contributions to our campus while the trees are not blooming. Hopefully with this article, you will be more mindful while walking around our campus and also appreciate all the nature that we are blessed to be surrounded with.
For a while now, people have been telling me that the beautiful tree by the bell tower is a cherry tree. I found this hard to understand until Peter Langley, a biology, microbiology and natural history teacher here at OES explained to me why there are no cherries. He told to me that there are many species of cherry trees and that it actually grows tiny berries that are not edible.
The tree also selectively flowers every year. Trees doe this to benefit from the pollination of insects like bees. The flowering tree also makes a beautiful addition to our campus.
After sorting out my misconceptions on cherries, we talked about hazards and challenges that the tree faces. My first concern was the all the people who climb on it. Peter explained that the tree is actually pretty healthy and because it is so healthy, it is actually able to sustain the weight of a the people who climb on it*.
However, Peter also explained that “if the tree shows signs of rotting branches, climbing can be a hazard.” We are blessed to have such a healthy tree as ours, and we hope for many more years of fond memory making.
I was not aware that we had a sequoia tree on campus until Peter pointed it out to me.
Sequoia trees are not native to our part of the North America. However, according to Peter, “it does very well in our dry summers,” and we have been getting quite a few of those thankfully for our tree.
Surprisingly, when I asked Peter more about special trees on our campus, he told me that “we’re not great for trees on campus.” The trees referred to are the cherry trees along the lower school, the belltower, and the sequoia we have. This fact is a bit of a surprise for me because we are such an eco-friendly school.
The main reason for our habitat not being optimal is that we don’t have them located in the best places. With our new lower school being built, the trees will be located in an active construction zone, and in such a zone, they can be neither appreciated, nor safe. Peter suggests that we replant the trees somewhere safe in the wetlands or another safe area where they are not restricted to grow and mature to their full potential.
I think that Peter’s stand is a very righteous act because as my childhood hero, the Lorax, once said: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Thank you to all trees out there who beautify our campus and improve our education.
Dr. Seuss. The Lorax. New York: Random House, 1971. Print.