Australian tree-huggers are emailing love letters to their trees

When it comes to their pen pals, these Australians are really branching out.

 

Mike Fenn

Internet Culture

Published Jul 14, 2015   Updated May 28, 2021, 9:03 am CDT

Officials in Melbourne, Australia, didn’t expect what happened when they set up a website that let people email any of the city’s 70,000 individual trees.

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Melbourne Environment Portfolio

The forest website was meant to help people report problems with the trees to the city government. But people have found many other strange reasons for emailing their favorite oaks, elms, and pines.

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For example, here’s a love letter to an oak tree that refers to it as “the gift that keeps on giving.”

To: Algerian Oak, Tree ID 1032705
2 February 2015
Dear Algerian oak,
Thank you for giving us oxygen.
Thank you for being so pretty.
I don’t know where I’d be without you to extract my carbon dioxide. (I would probably be in heaven) Stay strong, stand tall amongst the crowd.
You are the gift that keeps on giving.
We were going to speak about wildlife but don’t have enough time and have other priorities unfortunately.
Hopefully one day our environment will be our priority.

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People have also sent updates on current events and generic greetings to the trees. The city is keeping the emails and shared some of them with the Atlantic.

“The email interactions reveal the love Melburnians have for our trees,” Councillor Arron Wood, chair of Melbourne’s Environment Portfolio, told the publication.

H/T The Atlantic / Photo via Jeffrey/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Jul 14, 2015, 12:30 pm CDT