At the west entrance to the enchanted cedar forest at Fauntleroy Park is Mom. She is the oldest tree in this family of cedars and that is why I named her Mom. You see I was so entranced by them I started building a map of the cedar forest and documenting their age.
How do you do that you ask? I would never think about cutting them down to count their rings. That is the most accurate method but how could I kill these wise beings just for my fancy? Instead I found the formula to calculate their approximate age. Here is what you do:
Measure the tree’s trunk at about 5 feet off the ground. I use an old sewing cloth tape that is 60″ long. In this picture you can see I have hung the tape to give you perspective of her size.
Next you apply Pi to that circumference you just measured to get the diameter. Divide that in half to find the radius. Apply the growth rate of cedar trees and you get their age. I took it a bit further and sorted out what year they were born.
To keep my data straight I built an excel map of the trees with this formula all set up. I have about 20 trees in my file. Remember this is not perfect but gets us in the ballpark.
Mom measured 146 inches around – that nets to a 23″ radius and an age of 465 years. She was born around 1553.
Did that blow you away? Imagine what she has seen in her years. Basically the forest floor below her in the enchanted forest all grew up before her and even a few older trees she has witnessed fall at her feet.
I am working out those older trees too in my project. I am happy to say that I have not found a tree in this park that has the old turn of the 19th century sawed off appearance with foot holds carved in. All the old stumps are jagged. They died of old age or wind and water damage. Natural death in other words. Don’t we all wish for that?
In my quest to learn more about trees and their being, I have sat or stood next to several of these older cedars. They do bring a peace and perspective after one clears yourself of our inward chatter. A mediation in partnership with another being of the earth.
No wonder the practice of forest bathing brings us such peace of mind and strength. The forest is living at a slower pace than we and when we allow in their vibrations we are lulled into a calm.
I leave you with pondering what life would be as a tree who is 400 years older than me. Never moving from her spot but yet holding court with all who enter her space.