Tree Huggers Redefined: Melbourne Residents Send “Treemails” To Their Favorite Trees!
Posted by GreaterGoodness
The city of Melbourne, Australia, wasn’t trying to create a worldwide phenomenon when it assigned ID numbers and email addresses to specific city-owned trees in 2013. All it wanted to do was facilitate the reporting of problems. As it turned out, Melburnians love their trees, and so does the rest of the world. That’s what the city learned when the trees started receiving love letters from around the world.
Many of the emails expressed appreciation and love for the trees, with messages such as, “You must get these messages all the time. You’re such an attractive tree,” and “I want to thank you for providing us oxygen to breathe.” Sometimes the emails have taken a more philosophical tone, as when a correspondent asked a green leaf elm, “How do you deal with the constant, relentlessly soul-crushing pain of disappointment after disappointment that characterises our lives on Earth? You must be very old, right? So I thought you might know.”
From time to time, the trees have even responded to their emails. When a student bemoaned the fact that he should be studying for exams, another green leaf elm answered, “I hope you do well in your exams. Research has shown that nature can influence the way people learn in a positive way, so I hope I inspire your learning.”
The tree email addresses were given to all 77,000 of Melbourne’s trees as part of the city’s Urban Forest Strategy, which hopes to add another 3,000 trees per year to beautify the city. The city focuses on responding mostly to the emails that include warnings or requests regarding specific trees, so as to use taxpayers’ funds responsibly.
It’s inspiring when people from all around the world come together to appreciate the beauty of nature and the good work being done by a city like Melbourne. What trees in your community would you write to? Do you have a favorite oak, willow, or other tree?