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Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Man Who Planted Trees

Here is one of my all-time favorite stories originally published in 1953 by Jean Giono. Canadian filmaker Frederic Back transformed it into a beautiful animated short-film. A synopsis is really not needed. The story reveals itself. Anyone who loves nature will find this truly inspirational. A must for the forestry profession!

You can watch it for free right here: Movies Found Online

If this doesn't work on your computer order it from Netflix.


PS: as a forester I can't resist the opportunity to comment on the oak tree photo above. The little branch sticking out from the main trunk appears to be a phenomenom called epicormic branching. These are branches that protrude directly out of the main stem instead of at the top of the crown and usually result due to some type of forest disturbance. Epicormic stems can decrease timber value because they produce knots in the wood that otherwise wouldn’t be there.

Sorry, artistic value gets trumped here!


super lotto said...

I agree with you about these. Well someday Ill create a blog to compete you! lolz.

Anonymous said...

Paul, what kind of "oak" tree is that?! The only leaf in the photo appears to be a maple leaf, and the only twig in the photo has opposite bud scars! Yes, epicormic branching is a phenomenon we notice in oaks, but are you looking at a different photo than I?
-Amber Ellering
Forester, DNR, Sandy lake

Harbor Star said...


That’s why the DNR is hiring such sharp minds; you have a keen eye for plant identification! It’s also good to know that there are astute foresters out there actually reading this scribe and correcting my blogging inaccuracies.

Actually, I used this public domain photo with a bit of hesitation (it’s all I had at the time of posting). The forestry geek in me was simply trying to illustrate epicormic branching, but the main point was an attempt to connect the artistic value of an “oak tree” with the cool little animated feature, “ The Man Who Planted Trees”.

Hopefully you watched the film with the same attentiveness. It’s really special to witness the transformative beauty of seeing an oak forest come to life via animation.

Despite my blunder, you are correct. This is not an oak species. I believe it is a bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum Pursh). As you’ve so correctly pointed out, oak (Quercus sp) twigs / leaves have alternate branching and typically have distinct, more bristle-tipped lobes, whereas maples have opposite leaves and deeper, palmate lobes…. in this case five (

Like sugar maple, its' sap is sweet and it is the preferred species for piano frames. The trees native range is the Pacific Northwest.

Thanks much,