“You can gauge a country’s wealth, its real wealth, by its tree cover“, was a favourite saying of Dr Richard St. Barbe-Baker OBE.
I met St.Barbe when he was in his 90s in Washington at a retreat. He made me organic wholemeal pancakes for breakfast and we soon became friends. He showed me how to hug a tree and pay attention to its hydraulic vibes. I wasn’t sure whether it was my kind of thing, at first, but then I grew to like it. I soon adopted a tree just a few doors from my apartment in Gramercy Park, Manhattan. My first tree friend I called ‘Dagobert’. I’ve had tree friends ever since.
… Â St. Barbe’s organization, the Men of the Trees, eventually grew to be known as the International Tree Foundation. Ultimately, there were chapters in over 100 countries. By some estimates, organizations he founded or assisted have been responsible for planting at least 26 trillion trees, internationally.