And it's great for that. But as I've gone deeper into the practice I've become more connected to trees and forests, both as individuals and groves, but also as an archetype that lives in our deep selves in an essential way. It seems to me that there that some vaster entity called Tree is an essential component of our inner being. Just as a landscape is incomplete without its trees, so too is our inner being incomplete without the echo of trees and forests being alive within us.
In a way, I think that the growing knowledge of the essential role of trees and forests in maintaining the livability of our planet is related to this. I don't fully understand the relationship and don't really care to try to explain it, other than to say that the intuition is very strong and I trust that.
In this article landscape architect William Sullivan "makes the striking argument that the social and psychological benefits of trees and other greenery may even eclipse their ecological benefits. Research, based in real data, is now clearly demonstrating that exposure to trees brings people together, reduces crime, and lowers stress. Furthermore, trees are even a matter of life and death — their presence is a predictor of death rates for many."
That last sentence is unfortunately phrased. It might read as "if there are trees nearby watch out...they'll kill you!" But that's not what it means. What it means that there is a correlation between exposure to trees and forests and life expectancy. Can you guess which way the correlation goes?
a) More exposure to trees, we die younger.
b) More exposure to trees, we live longer.
I'm not giving you an answer. You already know. But you may as well go read the article.