Smart Pin Oak Reproduction Strategies


Pin oaks rely on animals to help them reproduce. The reason while their nuts are with think shells is because in this way squirrels would be more attracted to their fruits. These squirrels are not smart enough to remember where they hide their food, and then the survival of pink oak nuts will spread out to other places further than their “mother” is at, and the species gets the chance to move further.

tool : finding

the relationship of the tool to its corresponding finding
Shigo notes that the lightweight chainsaw made possible longitudinal sections, or dissections, of injured trees; he made over 15,000 in a 25 year span.
He found that the discolored wood varies in size, color, and degree of moisture — and shows a relationship to the external wound.
From the longitudinal application of chainsaw to tree, a very particular internal reality of the tree is revealed — albeit violently. Concepts of discolored and decayed wood and heartwood were subsequently developed — but we humans are still knocking from the outside.
(reference: Alex Shigo, A New Tree Biology)



There is quite a bit of action going on here. If this were not a site about trees, you might not know exactly what you were seeing. (It is a progressive horizontal section through one of our laser-scanned trees, C-1). What I see is some amoebic form adopting a strategy of divide and conquer as it advances into the surrounding territory and recursively expands its operations.

Understanding that this is, in fact, a tree, what I see is an impressively complex, yet organized growth pattern. I see decisions made, resources sought and committed, and movement.

I think it is somewhat amazing that we can go measure a tree, right now, in its relatively static, present state, and then produce an empirical representation of that tree which is at once totally accurate and yet is also capable of telling an allegory of that tree’s personal history of growth, battle, and general agency. We know this history occurred, but cannot measure it in the short term. Good thing it is baked into the branches. We don’t often think of it, but the story of the tree is almost impossible to ignore when we see an image like the one above. Perhaps it takes a gif or an animation, pushing the tree into a more (human-)comfortable temporal space, to draw out for us the agency so clearly mapped onto the topological structure of the tree. Just look at that thing! It is attacking the sunlight!



As we develop our studio ideas I’ve been following this thread of tree-consciousness. Are trees conscious? In considering what other terms might be appropriate alternatives to consciousness such as thinking and sensing, I am drawn to awareness. Are trees aware of us? And if they are, how do they respond to our activities, our movements, and even just our presence? Trees, as the oldest living beings on the planet exist and operate in a different time. Tree-time. They are slow, silent, and stationary. We, on the other hand, are relatively fast, noisy, and moving. Perhaps in order to understand how a tree responds to our presence we have to slow down to tree-time. We don’t sense a tree’s response to our presence because we aren’t tuned to it. Likewise it’s probable that we are blurred shadows in the tree’s “speed of perception.” In the same way that we as humans can’t discern the nuanced melodies of various birds since they operate in a faster time than us, we operate in a faster time than trees . So how do we reconcile tree-time and human-time in order to understand one another better? This is the question that drives my thinking for now…

From One, to a Quartet

From One, to A Quartet

To distill one from many. And then to build back up into a chorus of independent forms.

It looks simple. It looks easy. But it takes painstaking patience to collect the point data, patch and convert the points into a complete cloud, dissect the data into individual tree files, convert those individual tree files to formats that are usable in other programs, import those new tree files, apply animation, render, compose, and finally post.

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