Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Oaks Grow Fast - J. Russell Smith

J. Russell Smith wrote in his 1929 classic Tree Crops: A Permanent Agriculture:

"The oak tree should sue poets for damages. Poets have used the oak tree as the symbol for slowness - sturdy and strong, yes, but so slow, so slow! The reiterations of poetry may be responsible for the fact that most people think of this tree as impossibly slow when one suggests it as the basis of an agricultural crop. On the contrary the facts about the oak are quite otherwise. I am sure no poet ever grew a grove of the faster growing varieties, for he would have put speed into his oak poetry.

Stereotypes about oaks being slow growing trees have kept people from planting them as often as the should, and nurseries from growing them as much as they should.

It's time to change all that.

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