Trees were the topic of a recent brown-bag lunch sponsored by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. The event was held at OLLI's new 25 Hall St. location.
Dave Anderson talked about the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, which has been a driving force in protecting over a million acres of New Hampshire forests since 1901.
"Our mission in the next quarter century is to protect an additional one million acres of the state's most significant forests," Anderson said.
Chuck Souther, owner of Apple Hill Farm, described the challenge of battling deer and insects in growing apples. He explained it takes about 12 years for an apple seed to become a fruit-bearing tree. He added, "In the mystery of genetics, you never know what kind of apple tree will be produced by an apple seed, regardless of the kind of apple from which the seed came. The best way to know for certain the kind of apple that will be produced by a tree is by grafting."
Caroline Page, coordinator for the New Hampshire Big Tree Registry, mentioned there are five tree species in New Hampshire that are the largest in our nation for that species, including a sweet/black birch in Hillsborough and an Eastern White Pine in Cheshire.
Jane Bredeson reviewed the book They Sawed Up a Storm by Sarah Shea Smith, which is a story about the saw mill on Turkey Pond operated by women in the timber salvage efforts after the 1938 hurricane that blew down so many trees.
Ginny Gerseny gave a quiz in which one matched the name of a tree with the color and texture of the wood. She also explained the unusual science of miniature bonsai trees, which are a Japanese art form dating back over a thousand years.
Following our lunch, Mary Davies served homemade apple crisp, and Warren and Barbara Geissinger directed the group in singing "In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree" and "O Christmas Tree."
I quoted Joyce Kilmer's poem Trees, which was first published in 1913 and which, according to Clark Griffth in World Book, is regarded as the poem quoted more often than any other American poetry. It begins, "I think that I shall never see A poem love'y as a tree," and it ends with the famous line, "Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree."
OLLI at the Granite State College is an organization dedicated to providing lifelong learning opportunities for adults 50 years of age and older. This brown bag lunch, which focused on trees, helped to achieve OLLI's purpose of "learning for the fun of it."