“Mindful Awareness of Shifting Baselines” by Judy Yi



Mindful Awareness of Shifting Baselines
By Judy Yi, Director of Education, Trees Atlanta

Trees Atlanta and our volunteers have planted over 113,000 trees; most of them are about six feet tall when they were planted. They’ll grow and stretch their limbs into broad canopies. Compared to some of the grand old trees standing guard in our Atlanta neighborhoods, these new trees look pretty small.

What if there was a different scale? Could you imagine our grand old trees looking puny next to even taller, larger giants?

There was a time not too long ago, when trees in Georgia were as big as those shown in the historical photograph below. Before the impact of massive logging and chestnut blight of the early 20th century, these giants were common throughout the Piedmont region. It’s said a squirrel could jump through the chestnut canopy from Georgia to Maine and never touch the ground.

Our perspective of what is common is relative to what we know.