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The hidden characteristics of trees

Lauren MacGill

A Rocha Pembina Valley Interpretive Centre’s most recent talk, “Trees and Their Care,” explored trees and their characteristics. Professional Winkler arborist David Wallace led the talk on Dec. 16 at Winkler Centennial Library. (LAUREN MACGILL/Winkler Times)

A Rocha Pembina Valley Interpretive Centre’s most recent talk, “Trees and Their Care,” explored trees and their characteristics. Professional Winkler arborist David Wallace led the talk on Dec. 16 at Winkler Centennial Library. (LAUREN MACGILL/Winkler Times)

WINKLER - 

Did you know that a tree’s roots can extend the entire height of the tree plus an extra one third of that height underground?
A Rocha Pembina Valley Interpretive Centre’s most recent talk, “Trees and Their Care,” explored trees and their characteristics.
Professional Winkler arborist David Wallace led the talk on Dec. 16 at Winkler Centennial Library.
Wallace started by explaining the basics of trees and expanded on some of the lesser known facts about trees, their inner workings and the benefits they can have on humans.
Trees can repair themselves through a system called CODIT (Compartmentalization of Decay in Trees.) “It’s fascinating that a tree has the physiology, has the technology to heal itself,” Wallace said. “Often I’ve said trees are people too, because the way a human being operates, a tree kind of operates that way too. We have all this fluid in our body that moves up and down that is pumped through our body, and trees are the same way. They have xylem transporting the fluid up.”
“It’s a closed system, just like ours,” he added. “When we start to bleed, our body naturally heals over that wound, same as a tree.”
Xylem is transport tissue that ensures water gets from the roots to the branches and shoots of the tree.
Both the oldest and tallest trees in the world are found in California.
Methusela is estimated to be around 4,854 years old and General Sherman stretches upwards 380 feet.
Of course, trees can also have benefits for the humans that live around them. Wallace cited a study which found that an additional 10 trees per city block corresponded to a 1 per cent increase in how healthy residents felt.
To finish off the lecture, Wallace took participants outside to show some of the tools necessary for the job and demonstrate proper pruning techniques on some of the trees around the library.
A Rocha’s next Nature Talk, “Of Things Unseen,” will be on Jan. 23 at 7:30. Elmer Joy, a former professor of the Old Testament, will be talking about the many invisible wonders and connections within our ecosystems.