Monday, 1 April 2002
Why don't trees
dig their own hole?
Trees grow upwards. Kilos and kilos of wood race towards the light.

Trees create their own energy, photosynthesis (photoscience...) (photoscience...) and the like, sure, but they do not create their own mass, do they? Where do these kilos of wood come from?

This mass must be extracted from the soil, one way or the other. So, my conclusion is: trees must dig their own hole. The bigger the tree, the larger the hole.

However, a quick scan of the trees in a park does not provide supporting evidence. Not a single tree stands in a hole. Even the largest tree is on even ground. How do trees do this?

Could it be that their growth rate is so slow that the rain levels their hole, even before it becomes noticeable? A plausible explanation for the trees in the park, but what about the trees in the parking lot? Trees, soil and dirt do not get the opportunity to close a hole.

  • The rain rapidly runs off the parking lot into the sewer system.
  • The asphalt does not move, will not float towards a hole.
  • The municipal sanitation department removes any dirt, leaves and rubbish.
In short, the trees at the parking lot have no excuse whatsoever. Yet, even the biggest trees are not standing in a hole.

I don't know what trick they have up their sleeves, but:

Trees are in the monkey business!
Till next week,