It never ceases to amaze me when I learn what role trees have played in peoples’ lives. We all see trees every day, along roadsides, next to buildings, in our yards and in parks, cemeteries, and on hillsides.

They are there for all of us, just as sure as the sun and the earth are constantly with us. I have yet to meet someone who can’t tell a story about something special in their lives that includes a reference to a tree. Champion Black Willow Tree

I admit that I hit the rumble strips on the highway more often than I should because I am gawking at a wonderful tree in someone’s pasture, and certainly, not everyone shares my fondness of trees.

I was recently at an out-of-town three-day business meeting with several colleagues. It was the typical setting, meetings all day, dinner together in the evenings, a hotel room to spend the night, wake up and repeat.

One evening, when dinner was over and it was too early to call it a night, we were all sitting around the lobby visiting. Some of the group wanted to go find a bar and watch the basketball game. The sports bar was a few miles away, so we were going to drive over.

I asked my friend and colleague, Patrick, if he wanted to ride over with me. As we hopped in the car, I realized that we were going to drive past a very large black willow tree that I knew well.

I said to Patrick, “Hey, you want to see a cool tree?”

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