Unrest in the forest

Back in 1978, Neil Peart wrote these incredible lyrics for Trees, easily my favourite Rush song of all time:

There is unrest in the Forest
There is trouble with the trees
For the Maples want more sunlight
And the Oaks ignore their pleas.

The trouble with the Maples
(And they’re quite convinced they’re right)
They say the Oaks are just too lofty
And they grab up all the light
But the Oaks can’t help their feelings
If they like the way they’re made
And they wonder why the Maples
Can’t be happy in their shade?

There is trouble in the Forest
And the creatures all have fled
As the Maples scream ‘Oppression!’
And the Oaks, just shake their heads

So the Maples formed a Union
And demanded equal rights
‘The Oaks are just too greedy
We will make them give us light’
Now there’s no more Oak oppression
For they passed a noble law
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet,
Axe,
And saw…

Neil Peart, Rush, 1978

Although I don’t think the maples and the oaks are duking it out in my local forest quite in the same way, it’s clear that something is amiss.

The amount of rot and infestation from emerald ash borers and other pests is astounding. I wonder how much longer the “healthy” trees have before they succumb as well.