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A cute little story

by Ian Barclay

        Johnny lived with his Mommy and Daddy in a quaint little house just outside of town in the forest.  Johnny liked to look outside his window at the beautiful, tall, ancient trees at the edge of the forest.  He wondered how God could have made trees so big and strong and green.  In the summer when it was hot, the big trees shaded their house and kept them cool, and in winter the trees provided shelter from the cold north winds.  Johnny loved the trees and remembered to thank God for them every night before he went to sleep.
        Then one day Johnny was awoken by loud noises coming from outside his window.  He got up and looked out, only to see big dirty yellow machines romping through the forest and making a mess.  He saw men with big chainsaws hacking away at the wonderful trees.
        So he ran downstairs and yelled, "Mommy, Mommy! What are they doing to the trees?"
        Mommy looked at him with a sad smile on her face and said, "Johnny, those trees are not ours.  The man who owns that property decided it was time to cut them down."
        "But why, Mommy?  How can he just cut down God's trees like that?"
        "I don't know, Johnny.  Sometimes people do strange things, and we just can't tell why.  (Or maybe he is just a greedy jerk who wants to get all the money he can by selling the property to some developer.)"
        Johnny did not know what to make of this.  He went to the window and looked out at the big machines and the men.  He watched as they cut down the tallest, straightest, most beautiful tree that had shaded their house all his life.  Then poor Johnny went to his room and cried.  He was very sad for weeks and weeks because he missed the trees so much.  (Get a grip Johnny.)

Sadly, this is an all too familiar story in the world today.  I can personally attest to the fact that it is extremely maddening to lose a beautiful forest to land developers or people who "just want to open up the place a bit" (actually, they usually just want to make a lot more money than what's good for them).  I don't know where they get the idea that some ugly building, or bare dirt, is more aesthically pleasing or valuable than a forest (in most cases).

But Eucalyptus trees do offer a reasonable and relatively inexpensive solution.  Usually when you think of planting trees or other plants it's to beautify your own property.  But if your property or view has become uglified by someone else's doing on an adjacent property, then it's time to take action--in the form of Eucalyptus sabotage.

Eucalyptus trees have several characteristics that make them ideal for saboteurist purposes:

Fast growth.  Most species will establish and grow with several times the speed of most trees, often achieving 30' high in three years.
Tolerance of poor soil.  Besides, if it's good enough to have supported a forest once, it can do it again.
They don't look like trees, so people won't get suspicious.  Some have attractive juvenile foliage, but there's also quite a few that don't.  Young plants of E. viminalis, one of the fastest growing species, look pretty much like weeds until it is too late.
If someone cuts them down, they will grow back.  even faster than they grew the first time, with some species.
They are beautiful.  In some cases, perhaps even an improvement from the original forest.

So if you have an ugly clearcut you want to cover up, or if your neighbors have an ugly house you are sick of looking at, or if you just want to vex them off, try planting some eucalyptus trees on their property when they're not looking and see what happens.  You'll be glad you did.

        Then one day Johnny's mom stumbled across the Hardy Eucalyptus Page and read about the innumerable virtues of eucalyptus trees.  She got an idea that they might plant some trees to avenge the old forest that has been so ruthlessly cut down.  So she submitted a query to the Hardy Eucalyptus Board to ask what species would grow in their climate and soil, and where she could get some trees, and got lots of good suggestions from the people on the board.
        Four years later Johnny looked out his window again at the eucalyptus trees his mommy had helped him plant after the old forest had been cut.  Now there was a new forest, and he was happy again!  The trees had grown far beyond the height of his house and once again shaded it from the hot summer sun and protected it from the cold winter winds.  As he watched the breeze rustle through the leaves, he wondered what would have happened if he had never planted eucalyptus trees there.  He thanked God for eucalyptus trees, for he knew that even though it was his mommy who found the Hardy Eucalyptus Page and the good folks on the board who referred her to a source to get the trees, it was God, using those people, who provided him with the trees.


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