The shape of a tree is the shape of the leaf. No matter an evergreen or deciduous variety, the overall shape of a tree is mirrored a thousand times by a single leaf. Take a Bradford pear with a heart shaped leaf, perfectly symmetrical and small, turning gently in every wind like a paddle at the end of an oar. Flipping and following every breeze, the single leaf of the pear is carried over and over in the shape of the branches and crown to form an overall look very similar to the single leaf. The same with an evergreen, it's branch slim and spiny, spindling in round spiky form and pictured as an end product in the tall and shapely flowing form of a pine tree.
Single trees, held alone by nature in the purest form can be examined to hold true to this premise. Without crowding from other varieties, a tree in a lawn or field is symmetrical from the top looking down, each side and bottom upwards. Study the tree from a distance and see if you can determine the species first, then walk slowly forward to touch its leaves. As you feel the need, look underneath to the heavens through it's branches and see the places the birds can perch. Hear the wind rustling through its leaves.
Examine the trunk, see if damage or disease has struck its growth, harmed its future, insects and drought can lay their mark in obvious ways. Fire can singe the bark and branches; winds can topple a cavernous portion if left to hold its own in open field. A tree will tell you its past and with favorable conditions, it's lofty future.
Under the ground is a portion of the tree we don't see, the roots, as large as the branches themselves, spreading out to feed from the water and soil. A tree is home to many animals, giving life in oxygen production and factories for photosynthesis, every tree is a friend of nature, our companion by drinking in carbon dioxide.
In the fall, deciduous trees don't change color but lose their chloroform, allowing the underlying color inherent in the leaves to be seen again. Many people seek the changing of the leaves each fall and study the climate, temperatures and peak of the season, driving hundred of miles in search of the perfect vista, a place to appreciate nature.
I like to hug a tree, lean against it to study or draw, enjoy children in swings tied from ropes in the lower branches, climbing a tree occasionally just to sit and ponder. When younger and more agile I could shinny up a slender sapling in no time, wrapping strong legs around and pulling with my arms. Running through the forest is the best of experiences, comforted by the shimmering light diffused from above through the canopy. All people relate to trees in some way.
They say a child is like an apple, never falling far from the tree. What a wonderful comparison in relating our offspring to fruit, ripened slowly by nature and our guidance. Arbor Day is in April, a day to celebrate and plant a tree and appreciate the most perfect part of Gods creations. Our friends the trees are here to share the shade, hold the earth, give us breath and protect us. Caring and nurturing these tall perfect creations will always bring goodness to your heart and a warm feeling to your soul.