Magic trees

For this article, I borrowed from photographer Giancarlo Pucci the title of his beautiful book and the foundation he formed, following the trail of his passion for trees. Giancarlo spoke with forestry engineer Sara Ramirez in our latest “La Telaraña” podcast, titled “Reforestación”. The conversation, which was conducted with his usual smoothness by Jurgen Ureña, took us on a passionate journey from the roots to the distant branches of some majestic trees.

I take some ideas woven throughout the podcast to invite you to listen to it. Even the option of jumping right in may be more interesting than reading on and, of course, I won’t be offended.

During the 50’s and 60’s of the last century, deforestation was synonymous with progress in Costa Rica. It was cut down to make farms and that was well seen. Then, during the next three decades, Costa Rica turned the corner and made some very wise conservation decisions. One of them was the payment for environmental services, which today must be rethought because it depends, to a large extent, on a tax on fossil fuels, whose consumption must be reduced to combat climate change.

Today we have some interurban biological corridors and several organizations, such as “Amigos del Río Torres” and “Rutas Naturbanas” that invite us to change the paradigm.

Why travel two or three hours to see the forest in a national park when cities could host more biodiversity and bring that forest closer to our neighborhoods? Why not move forward in the process of strengthening our corridors, sidewalks and gardens? A few months ago I turned these ideas around in a text entitled “Una estaca de güitite”, in which I mentioned several organizations that have classified trees and plants according to their suitability to occupy sidewalks, drains and broken land.

Those of us who live in rural areas, and those of us who are a few years old, are more familiar with the names and usefulness of trees. Younger people have a more visible environmental awareness, perfect to motivate awareness and education and lead us to be fuller people. As we get closer to trees, we get closer to ourselves. The closer we get to ourselves, the more we care for the trees. That is the virtuous circle of the magic trees.

This dry season is perfect to observe and touch the trees, feel their bark, look at their flowers, perceive their aroma, recognize all those little bugs that live in them and accept that we are just another organism that must live in harmony with them. The flowering of a “Corteza amarilla – Tabebuia ochracea” was, for Giancarlo, the trigger for his passion for trees and, at the same time, an engine for his personal rediscovery. Let’s approach trees to rediscover ourselves and find new passions. That is the motto.