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Introducing TreeNote

I’m a scientist who studies trees. For forty years, I’ve documented the ecological values that trees provide, like stabilizing soils and providing wildlife habitat. And most importantly, trees absorb carbon into their tissues, a process that helps slow climate change.

But to me, trees are much more than simply scientific specimens.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been in awe of their grace, their beauty and strength. The word “tree” comes from the Sanskrit term “deru,” the same root word as “endurance,” “trust” and “truth.”

My husband, Jack, and I take evening walks in the cemetery near our home. The trees that stand silently among the headstones are visible connections between earth and sky, even life and death. Each of them is a rooted, steady, century-long presence in that peaceful place. That contrast to the hustle bustle pace of my own busy life makes me pause and be still, like a tree, even if only for a moment before I move on.

That is what TreeNote is about.

Each week, I’ll share with you the amazing things I’ve learned about trees over the course of my career, like, a single oak tree makes 10,000 acorns in a single year!

But I’ll also remind you how trees can lift our minds, our spirits — our lives — higher than their tallest branches.

Dr. Nalini Nadkarni is an emeritus professor of both The Evergreen State College and the University of Utah, one of the world’s leading ecologists and a popular science communicator. Dr. Nadkarni’s research and public engagement work is supported by the National Geographic Society and the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. @nalininadkarni
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