Tremendous Trees

treetops and cloud sSix more weeks to go after this one, then we will have completed a run through the alphabet for our weekly creative writing prompts and exercises.

Meanwhile, today we are at the letter ‘T’. And where to go with this is a no-brainer for me – trees.

I have always loved trees – all kinds, the bigger and older the better!

Is there a special tree in your life? Would you like there to be? A special place with trees? Is there a significant tree in your past? Start thinking leaves, branches, boughs, bark, trunks, twigs and roots…sycamore leaves s

List all the words that ‘trees’ trigger and see where that takes you. You may want to delve into the past for a piece of memoir, or comment on something involving trees for a piece of creative non-fiction. Say what you have to say in 750 words.

Here in Ireland, we have a disease rampaging through the countryside killing native Ash trees. I’ve written poems about it, describing my frustration at being unable to do anything about the dying Ash trees. Nearly all the ones in my garden hedgerow are now gone, just a few skeletal ones hanging on by a thread. It is very sad.

The Ash is distinctive and prolific around here (County Roscommon in Ireland), the last tree to come into leaf in Spring and the first to drop its leaves in Autumn.

ash die back sI read somewhere that within 20 years, 80 percent of the country’s Ash trees will be gone. And the disease is seemingly unstoppable because it is spread by an air-borne fungus.

Chalara – or Ash Dieback – is thought to have been brought into County Leitrim (a neighbouring county to us) ten years ago, with infected commercial saplings brought in from Poland. When the disease was discovered, 33,000 Ash trees were destroyed in a failed attempt to limit its spread.

The loss of the Ash is having a huge impact on the landscape – and on the industries which use Ash wood in their products (did you know traditional Hurley sticks are made from Ash?)

All we can hope is that enough Ash trees will develop an immunity to the disease and will survive. Start hunting for more info here. 

Hopefully, topical themes like this will provide interesting fodder for your writing that will last well into the future, long after subjects like the Amber Heard and Johnny Depp debacle will have faded into obscurity. IMHO!

Next week I will have another creative writing prompt/exercise for you. As always, Wednesday 5pm Dublin time. If you’re new here (where have you been?) there is more about the reasoning behind this here.