Trees are an example of woody perennials. "Woody Perennial" is an example of a terrible porn name.
Just The Facts
- Trees can live to be up to 1000 years old.
- There are 10,000 known tree species.
- If trees could talk, they'd either be complaining about boredom, or screaming "AAH GOD IT HURTS."
Trees in nature
Aside from possibly killing your children, trees are pretty cool: You can hang a tire from one and let your kids resent you for being too cheap to buy them video games. Or if you've got two close enough together, you can rock a hammock - a device which combines all the fun of getting trapped in a net with all the alienness of being suspended in the air, and if you're a fat guy, all the tension and drama of tightrope walking. Trees provide oxygen in exchange for our carbon dioxide, which is a pretty good deal when you think about it: They give us life in exchange for poison.
On a related note: Trees are suckers.
Speaking of roots, interconnected networks of roots are why Pando, a large grove of interconnected Quaking Aspen in the state of Utah, is considered by some to be the largest living organism in the world. However, its reign is not entirely without controversy in the organism-measuring community (which apparently exists): Pando haters contend that an underground game of root footsie does not a single tree make. Pando boosters shoot back that that Pando is a clonal colony and all the trees share genetic markers. The anti-Pandos shoot back that if that's the definition of a single organism, then what's stopping three identical twins from riding piggyback and becoming the world's tallest person? And so forth: This is the sort of crap that goes on in alcohol controlled states.
For those who believe in the power of rainbows, children's dreams, and tree clones, Pando is not only the largest organism in the world but also the heaviest at 6,615 tons and the oldest at 80,000 years old. And while we're at it, we'll throw in perfect attendance for the month of March. Nice work, Pando.
Incidentally the name "Pando" means "I spread" in Latin, leading us to logically conclude that trees are sluts.
The Murdering Tree
Madagascar Man Eating Tree
In the proud tradition of explorers making shit up, German explorer Carl Liche (who probably didn't exist himself) detailed a tribal tradition in which the Mkodo, a Madagascar tribe (also fake) sacrifices a girl to a killer tree. (definitely bullshit)
The passage, which reads a little like proto-japanese tentacle porn, describes the tree as having tendril-esque branches "like green serpents" that wrapped around their victim with "cruel swiftness and savage tenacity of anacondas".
In 1924, Chase Osborn, former governor of Michigan (another alcohol controlled state, by the way) backed Liche up in his unsubtly titled book "Madagascar, Land of the Man-eating Tree".
So there you go, if the propaganda is to be believed, then all trees are dimwitted, sexually promiscuous, homicidal maniacs. And don't look now, but...
THEY'RE IN YOUR BACKYARD!