Vietnam Time

2/10/2019 11:17:54 AM

Trees've got mails from human

In order to protect and maintain its more than 70,000 trees, the city of Melbourne has created an online platform named Urban Forest Strategy.

Photo: Urban Forest Strategy

The website enables people to explore this dataset and some of the challenges facing Melbourne’s trees.Email accounts were created for 70,000 trees so citizens could report issues about a particular tree.

“The idea of incorporating the facility to email the trees was literally set up so that people could report issues about a particular tree and we could quickly identify a tree that needed attention,” the council’s environment portfolio chair, Cathy Oke, says.

But the response was completely unexpected, when people from all over the world have started writing to Melbourne’s trees, expressing admiration and showing good humour. To date, over 4,000 emails have been sent to Melbourne’s trees. 

“That quickly turned into something quite unexpected when people were using this to send fan mail and love letters,” Cr Oke says.

“I think one of the great things about it is that people often think technology removes us from nature but actually the opposite can be true. It shows that technology can actually help you engage with nature. We want people to know we’re looking after our trees, we want the community to help us look after them, and if it also brings them some joy in a busy world, that’s great too.”

Below are some of these interesting messages:

“Dear Smooth-barked Apple Myrtle,

I am your biggest admirer. I have always wanted to meet you, but tragically, I’m stuck in New York.

I think you are the most handsome tree of them all, tall with an inviting open canopy. I love to just dream of you, the smell of your clusters of white flowers, the sight of your lush, dark green foliage, and feel of your patterned bark.

You inspire me to live life to the fullest, and pursue my dreams; you keep growing despite the terrible tragedies in this world. You are loved and deserve the world.

Love, some person in New York”

"Dear Syzygium Lilly-Pilly,

This is not a report on your wellbeing, in case someone reading this is looking for issues they need to fix. This is simply a letter to a tree, because I would like someone new to talk to, a stranger, and what better stranger to pick than a tree who lives across the world?

I do not live in Australia, I live in America, and have my whole life. I have not even left this country, although I would like to, someday. I would like to travel the world.

But right now, I am a teenager, going into their sophomore year in high school, and I am not a world traveller. It is late, and I should be asleep. I have been working today. I’m with my dad, working at an art fair in Colorado for the weekend. He’s an artist, and makes pottery, full time. I like helping out at fairs with him; artists are actually super great people to be around. I’d like to be an artist when I’m older. I draw, now, just for me. And I take art classes at school. But one day, I would like to be an artist, as a job.

People always talk about the “starving artist”, and I can guarantee, it won’t be easy, being an artist, for a job. But that’s my dream. And what are dreams if you’re not just a little bit afraid of them?

Well, I should sleep. It’s past midnight, which normally wouldn’t be so bad for me, but I have to get up early tomorrow and work. I’ll write again, soon, I think. I would quite like to have a tree as a friend.

And maybe, someday, I’ll travel across the world and visit you.

Sincerely, a friend"

"Hello tree.

I don’t actually know you, but recently I’ve been wondering what trees say.

A friend of mine gave me your contact information, so I thought I would go straight to the source.

So here is my question: what would you tell people if you could speak?"

"Dear beautiful grassland gum,

I know things may get a little glume-y when you only have grasses for company, but today is your day to shine! Happy National Eucalypt Day!

Your friend."

"Dear Mr/Mrs Eucalyptus

Thank you for cleaning and producing our air. I was wondering, what animal spreads your seeds? Is it an animal?

I would love if you replied."

"Dear Nettle,

I just moved in three months ago and I’m very glad that I can talk to you through this system. I live in the first floor and I can actually see you through my window!

I’m having trouble sleeping at night because of the noise of cars and ambulances at night, hope you’re not suffering that much and be able to have a good sleep.

Thank you for blocking the noises from the street and wish the birds don’t do harm to you. Pleasant to meet you and have a nice day!

Cheers!"

  ( VNF )
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