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Jerusalem Artichoke - Helianthus tuberosus - Earth Apple - Whitecliff Park St. Louis MO US

An Oaks Ecosystem

Some homeowners may place a tree in their backyard with the purpose of manifesting shade. However, even one tree, isolated in this scape, gifts more than meets the eyes. Let's be guided through the life of an oak and all which is given to the surrounding ecosystem.

Our sky is at dawn and our sun's first rays shine through our oaks canopy, most of its energy absorbed in evaporating dew from our oak's efficient leaves. Only after evaporation occurs does the morning air start to warm within the tree. Our airs have begun to heat above our oak, swirling heat awakens insects that dwell here. Below our canopy, our air is chilly enough that bugs remain above. In unison, this symbiotic relationship between our tree and our sun has manifested a perfect habitat for insect life; birds glide in and feast on the morning's abundant meal. Convection currents swirl as cool air within the trees canopy intermingles with heated airs above, and morning breezes begin. Our tree has captured the energetic movement of converted air currents into its own making. Some researchers believe this wind energy is absorbed into the being of the tree, building tough and flexible cells.

Snow remains protected from our sun's devilish rays within our oaks cast shade, slowly melting through spring to quench much-needed thirst along the season, coincidently gifting to our nearby stream. (Early miners have reported the disappearance of once flowing streams when trees were cut down.)

Our sun warms humid, night-chilled air within our oak, entrapped air dries, moisture escaping to the skies formulating clouds above. Lost moisture is quickly replenished from roots and exhaled by puffy-lipped pores of leaves, called stomata. Groundwater, polluted or cleansed, is purified within the tree's "veins" and exhaled from leaves. Most all trees are incredible water purifiers. Full-grown trees may 'exhale' 2,000 gallons of water on hot, sunny dry days, soon to return in the form of rain. Nearly half of rainfall has been exhaled by trees, the rest guided in air currents. If one butcher's down trees, one diminishes incoming rains from downwind, resulting in dry, deserted lands.

Photosynthesis activated by our sun stimulates breath of life, while oxygen is exhaled into our air, leaves breathe in carbon dioxide and utilizes it to build sugars and structures/molecules/fuel for our oak's livelihood.

Dust and debris lie on leaves, potentially a coverage of over 30 acres of leaflet hands, draws dust and pollutants from our airs. Air passing through is purified and humified, picking up moisture exhaled from leaflets, light pixy dust clouds of pollen, and living bacteria and fungi are carried along with our winds. Spores find home on soils below, inoculating roots and forming symbiotic relationships with surrounding botanicals, trading accumulated nutrients to the tree for sugars gained from photosynthesis.

Native Americans made acorns into flour, blue jays, and squirrels accumulate their dinner and store away acorns for later meals, leaving droppings, aiding in fertile soils. Forgotten acorns later sprout into little oak seedlings, reaching out root systems to our mother tree.

Subsiding from day's heat, rain droplets arouse bacteria, pollen, and micro-organisms aloft our oaks ecosystem. Our tree acts to draw in rain from small particles which provide nucleation sites for rain droplet formulation.

Rain graces a thin, steady spread across leaflets, branches, and our oaks trunk, soaking up much moisture before any reaches soil. Lichen and mosses living on our tree soak up even more rain. Over a quarter-inch of rain may be absorbed in mature trees before any reaches soil below.

Our oaks structure is intricately designed to draw in as much moisture as possible, leaves direct water inward, as do branches toward the root system, preserving much needed moisture, intelligently designed. Little soil erodes from rains, roots and leaf litter retain nutrients and secure the much-needed grounds below. This nutrient-rich soup accumulated from rains into our tree is laden with pollen, bacteria, droppings, bug shells, fungi, and dust, gifting to organisms in the soil below. Our tree efficiently gathers its own sustenance.

A chill arouses as our sun rests under our horizon, cooling air within our tree from the heat of our day. Heat accumulated within our soil rises within the canopy to heat our oak throughout the night's chill. Outer leaves cool colder than the surrounding air and are then able to accumulate condensed moisture, dripping on botanicals and soil below, a beautiful cycle of life. Trees collect much more moisture on foggy days, providing steady trickles of moisture for life below.

Remember, at least 50 percent of our tree is within expanding root systems underneath soil surface, loosening, aerating, leaching acids to break down rock, harvesting essential minerals, nutrients, coincidently providing accessible nutrients to organisms living symbiotically within this ecosystem.

Root systems are able to fuse with surrounding root systems ( and may expand many many miles from our mother tree) in exchange of nutrients and vital communication. Trees are able to signal an infestation so other botanicals may leach warding chemicals.

No one organism functions alone, our oaks ecosystem communicates incredible intelligence and survival with all that thrives within. Wildlife, water, air, bugs, organisms, and humans, all may thrive off of this beautiful creation of God, and behold this breath of life.

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