Passage #244: 9 April 2014

Arboriculture



We sure do have a thing for trees on this ride, don't we? A quick look through the archives reveals no less than seven Passage rides that were explicitly or implicitly tree-themed. But can you blame us? Trees are pretty great!

The oldest cultivated tree in Los Angeles, for example, has outlived all but a handful of buildings. It probably did not occur to the people planting it that their most lasting contribution to the urban landscape would be made not of concrete and steel but of lignin and cellulose, swaying in the breeze.

Now, it would be a little unfair to make too much of the fact that our trees outlive our architecture. It is difficult to live inside of a tree, after all, let alone engage in any of the various activities that comprise human civilization. But perhaps the trees can be seen as an appropriate reference by which to gauge our ambitions.

This week we visit some of the oldest trees and, for comparison, what is maybe the oldest building in the city.


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