Yesterday in cold, gray Berlin-Lichtenberg, an area marked by massive high-rises, I saw this 7-story local tree, graceful with long, hanging pods, surrounded by a flock of new arrivals. The impressiveness of the resident tree made the activity of importing Christmas trees, restrained in nets and cordoned off by construction fences, look kind of silly and cheap.
The illustration of a tree on the tree lot’s sign looked quite different from both the local and the trucked-in trees.
I think the trees look kind of sad when they are piled up like this, tied up in nets. It’s strange that you can just close up a tree like it was an umbrella. Their shaved-down ends look like those tragic pencils who have lost their erasers and the metal collars that attach them.
But please don’t think I’m going to now assert that everyone who participates in the buying and selling of Christmas trees of abusing plants. Though I notice all these reasons why Christmas trees are absurd and wasteful (especially post-Christmas, when they litter the streets) I’m actually a sucker for them. I’m always delighted when I see a car drive by with a tree tied to the top and I’ve gladly participated in chopping down innocent pines for Christmas purposes. I guess this shows that my relationship to plants is not rational, but then again, whose is?