WITH Earth Day on a Wednesday, we managed to visit two separate celebrations - one at each end of the week. The first was at a nature center, where among other things we planted cucumber seeds and a tiny hemlock tree to bring home.
Hemlock is mentioned in the bible, and used as a poison! However, this is the hemlock plant, which despite an apparent similarity in leaf shape, is not related to the noble hemlock tree. Members of the pine family, the Eastern and Carolina Hemlock are among the only old-growth trees in the Eastern US, but both species are under severe threat from a little beastie called the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. It's a true David and Goliath battle, but unfortunately in this version the tiny David is the baddie and the gentle giants are being wiped out faster than Goliath can wield his pine needly sword. So we planted one in our back garden and will tend it with loving care. Maybe the little woolly beasts will remain at bay and our tree will flourish. They can live to 800 years! It's a funny thought that such a tiny sprout of a tree may one day grow to 45 m tall or more.