Take a deep breath and imagine being in a forest filled with beautiful pine trees. Here in Colorado, we’re surrounded by ponderosa, piñon, lodge pole, bristle toe and limber pine, along with cottonwoods, aspens, spruce, and fir. When I walk into the forest, I immediately take a deep breath and assimilate that beautiful, sweet, damp, resinous smell of the forest. In those moments, I wish I could be a tree.
A tree has deep, spreading roots that keep it connected to the earth, growing down into the dirt and allowing the tree to obtain water, even through years of drought and hardship. Trees are deeply nourished by the earth, and this nourishment is what makes them grow up straight and tall. Pines grow straight, strong, and true, into the sky. Up hundreds of feet, reaching for the heavens, while still firmly rooted in the earth, and never disconnecting from their source of life.
Trees inhale the carbon dioxide we give off and, through photosynthesis, produce the oxygen we breathe. Just by breathing every second of every day, we are in an intimate relationship with the trees and plants that give us the air we need to survive.
To be a tree: grounded, standing up straight and tall, reaching for the heavens for a connection to the divine; to be constantly nourished while breathing life into others. What a beautiful life to live.
Indeed, conifers have been around for over 50 million years, fossil records show pines going back as early as the tertiary period. They were on this planet long before flowering plants. These ancient and wise trees have many stories to tell through their long evolution, and I believe they are great teachers.
In this issue, we at first set out to discuss just ponderosa pine, since it’s the one I work with most, but I quickly realized that would sell short the beauty, variety, and abundance of other Pinus species. We instead opted to cover any pine species our authors felt compelled and qualified to write about. Please enjoy this information, and get to know the pines that grow near you. Learn how you can best work with these ancient beauties for better health and optimal wellness, even if it is just sitting and pretending to be a tree!