In the forest, this is what crowding-out looks likes. In the real economy, things aren’t much better.

I’m a skeptical gardener. I’ll work in the dirt because I enjoy the results, but it’s working for me. Because I don’t perceive the human skill in gardening, I don’t derive any intrinsic pleasure from watching plants grow from seed to maturity. The plant’s design and function are both appealing to me. That is, however, nature’s art, not mine.

I, on the different hand, am a dedicated arborist. Working with trees isn’t about growing them; it’s about pruning them. It’s all about identifying a tree’s natural, healthy lines and shaping them to follow them over time. It’s about having a mental picture of what Treeness means in this specific location and plant and then bending nature to meet that picture. Working with trees is an art form because of this imposition of human will, whether expressed in miniature form through bonsai or in massive form through four acres of maple trees. That is why I chose to work as an arborist.

Recognizing that less is nearly always more, that the lack of a branch or limb is just as significant in communicating Treeness as its presence, is at the heart of being a good arborist. It’s simple to fill a room. That is the default since nature’s blind imperative, regardless of the internal or external repercussions, is to grow, spread, and gain more light. The core will eventually degrade the structure; therefore, the arborist must be inventive enough to envision the alternative and courageous sufficient to take action. The cut is always where the courage is. It’s always in the amount to impose human will and vision. The cut is always where the art is.

A chainsaw is Used rarely to cut down a living tree, or at least one that I want to preserve alive. For starters, I’m more …