Human’s are pretty good at getting attached. We all have some sort of inanimate object that holds some emotional significance, like a childhood swing, an old pet’s favourite chew toy, or the last beer in a slab.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could convey your love for something that can’t talk back without looking like a grade-a lunatic? Well, if you’ve got a hankering for horticulture you could follow the lead of thousands of people around the globe and send a custom love letter to any Melbournian tree.
As part of the Urban Forest Strategy – which was implemented to combat the decline of trees following a 13-year drought – the city of Melbourne assigned all of its 77,000 trees with individual emails.
What started as a way for residents to report trees that had been vandalised or were in a severe state of decline evolved into a beautiful pen pal exchange where people wrote their favourite trees love letters.
The chair of Melbourne’s Environment Portfolio Councillor Arron Wood said the response was fairly unexpected, but still very welcome. “It is unbelievable, we have now received over 3000 emails from all around the world — there have been people from Russia, Germany, Hungary, Singapore, Britain and Hong Kong all confessing their love for trees in Melbourne.”
Have a look below at some of the most heartfelt responses, and try not to cry.
Green Leaf Elm, Tree ID 1022165
Dear Green Leaf Elm,
I hope you like living at St. Mary’s. Most of the time I like it too. I have exams coming up and I should be busy studying. You do not have exams because you are a tree. I don’t think that there is much more to talk about as we don’t have a lot in common, you being a tree and such. But I’m glad we’re in this together.
Green Leaf Elm, Tree ID 1022165
Hello Green Leaf Elm,
It’s me again (F). I just got my marks for last semester back! On a definitely completely unrelated note, how do you deal with the constant, relentlessly soul-crushing pain of disappointment after disappointment that characterises our lives on Earth? You must be very old, right? So I thought you might know.
Western red cedar, Tree ID 1058295
Are you worried about being affected by the Greek debt crisis? Should Greece be allowed to stay in the European Union?
Weeping Myrtle, Tree ID 1494392
Hello Weeping Myrtle,
I’m sitting inside near you and I noticed on the urban tree map you don’t have many friends nearby. I think that’s sad so I want you to know I’m thinking of you.
I also want to thank you for providing oxygen for us to breath in the hustle and bustle of the city.
Golden Elm, Tree ID 1028612
I used to think you were the Magic Faraway tree when I was a child.
Now that I’m an adult, I still look forward to seeing you as I come around the bend after a tedious crawl down Hoddle Street.
A loyal friend always there waiting to say hello
English Elm, Tree ID 1032245
Are you and your fellow English elms enjoying the Ashes series as much as we in England are, and are you giving the native Aussie trees some stick over their team’s performance?
Golden Elm, Tree ID 1037148
You deserve to be known by more than a number. I love you.
Always and forever.
Variegated Elm, Tree ID 1033102
Dear Elm, I was delighted to find you alive and flourishing, because a lot of your family used to live in the UK, but they all caught a terrible infection and died.
Do be very careful, and if you notice any unfamiliar insects e-mail an arboriculturist at once.
I miss your characteristic silhouettes and beautifully shaped branches — used to be one of the glories of the English landscape — more than I can say.
Melbourne must be a beautiful city.
Sincere good wishes
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