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We love trees here at HARA but perhaps as never before, trees are under threat. We dedicate this blog to the noble tree.

In the Amazon, Congo Basin in Africa, Indonesia and Siberia - trees are igniting around the world, releasing the carbon that they once absorbed through photosynthesis. If too much of the forest is burnt, there is a risk that these moist biodiverse stable ecosystems will not replenish. Desertification may turn what are described as the ‘lungs of the planet’ into deserts unable to sustain diverse life. 

And of course, let’s not forget about the people who depend on forest for their homes and livelihoods. 

Deforestation has been rife since much of humanity turned to settled agriculture. We have transformed vast swathes of forest into space to produce food for our growing population.

While this blog does not offer policy suggestions or a systems change on tackling our dangerous eradication of trees (and we suspect a bamboo underwear blog is not the place for it) - we’re going to try to reignite our love of trees. 

When we have an emotional connection it proves much harder to destroy said thing. We need to appreciate trees in all their glory.

For example? Did you know trees can talk to each other?

Proud treehuggers.

“Treehugger” emerged as a phrase from 1970s Indian protests to protect sacred woodlands - has since been a little soiled by mainstream media - but now we need to reclaim it!

Research has shown the physical and psychological benefits of interacting with trees. 

“When we’re in the presence of trees, our heart rate changes, calming and rebalancing the systems that regulate our emotions,” says Richardson. He believes we should be quite literally embracing nature, because trees have what he calls a “soft fascination”, which “gently occupies our senses, providing a soothing influence”.

British superstar, and all round excellent human being, Idris Elba has declared his love for tree hugging. He hugs trees at major life events or annual days, like birthdays and New Year’s Eve. In a recent interview he unabashedly adds;

““I just feel a massive connection to the roots that are underneath, which are very high and wide, and to the oxygen that comes from the top,” he says. “And then there’s me in the middle … Idris Elba, tree-hugger!”

That’s right, possible future Mr Bond is making tree hugging mainstream once more. 

Inspired by his musical foray in a song entitled ‘Tree’ - here are 10 songs that celebrate and muse over nature’s marvel.

Tree - Idris Elba ft. Audra Mae and Cody Chesnutt - 2014

“which is sort of on the nose, a love letter to my dad”.

Somebody tell my father

That we are standing by his tree

And even though we miss him

We're glad that he was set free

Trees - Tuvaband - 2017

Norweigan artist has topped more than 2 million plays of her evocative piece with lyrics including:

The trees are talking

They talk behind our backs

Cause we fell trees, We fell people

Cause when we fell, we fall

Too many trees, too many trees, too many people

There's been too many people

A Thousand Trees - Stereophonics - 1997 

Welsh frontman Kelly Jones took inspiration for this song from animation college project, a flip book of a “tree burning into a match and vice versa.”

Although used more as a metaphor for rumours spreading, nonetheless the chorus is full of powerful imagery:

But it only takes one tree to make

A thousand matches

Only takes one match to burn

A thousand trees

Trees - John Butler Trio - 2000

No metaphors used here, Aussie group John Butler Trio get straight to it with this rousing acoustic number:

Don't they know if they chop them down

There won't be anything to see

Don't they know if they chop them down

There won't be anything to breathe

Don't they know if they chop them down

It's only desert that they leave

Hippie, feral, protestors

Call them what you may

But if they weren't here right now

There wouldn't be a tree standing today

Fake plastic trees - Radiohead - 1995

Declared by Radio X as one of the top 50 saddest songs of all time, Thom Yorke and co call out the absurdity of the modern world:

Her green plastic watering can

For her fake Chinese rubber plant

In the fake plastic earth

That she bought from a rubber man

In a town full of rubber plans


Old Pine - Ben Howard - 2012

We take a trip down memory lane with Ben Howard in this song that has been streamed more than 150 million times on Spotify. It describes a camping trip in forest in France - and the Old Pine is one which nearly killed him.

“We were camping in a forest when a storm hit us, and the campsite owner made us move in the middle of the night. We weren't happy, to say the least.

The next day, a tree fell where our campsite had been. We returned to the spot and saw that it went right in the middle of our tent outlines. So we were really thankful!”

The Trees - Pulp - 2001

Unleashing a broken heart on the trees, Pulp prove no emotion is out of bounds when it comes to song about trees:

Yeah, the trees, those useless trees produce the air that I am breathing.

Yeah, the trees, those useless trees; they never said that you were leaving

Trees - Twenty One Pilots - 2013

American duo use nature lyrics in this electronic upbeat tune: 

I know where you stand

Silent in the trees

And that's where I am

Silent in the trees.

Watch fans sing along:

Tree Hugger - Kimya Dawson - 2007

A celebration of nature and all its creatures great and small, featured in the iconic soundtrack of offbeat and playful film Juno:

The flower said, "I wish I was a tree"

The tree said, "I wish I could be

A different kind of tree"

Infinite Trees - Nick Mulvey - 2017

The last track on ‘Wake Up Now’; aimed as ‘a response to these crazy times' we're living in.

A beautiful and dare we say hopeful note to end on:

When you are close by me

This room has no walls

Instead only trees I see

Infinite trees my love

What songs would you add to the list?

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