Stress, Strain, Survival & Thrive

casey_rollandWith the hottest or warmest summer temperatures (depending on which paper you’ve read) on record nipping at our heels, we are seeing a ton of trees that are either going to sleep early, or have given up the proverbial ghost, as it were. How did they make it this far? Are they dead? Should I cut down my (insert species here) tree? Hmmmmmm., not so fast! Let’s see how things work out. Remember last winters’ cold snap? Two weeks of record “freeze your a$$” off temperatures, followed by two more of the same… Followed by a typical hot southern Oregon summer. Some made it some croaked. Why? How many native trees, birds, fish, amphibians, serpents, insects, fungi, bacteria, mammals, invertebrates, hemiparasites, etc. perished due to extreme temperatures?

Notice how I always pose a question to you, my readers?

Did the over abundant acorn crop two years ago give us a warning? The fall colors last year were a no-show, was that a sign? The Morning Glory Sweetgum, that has always been a fireworks display, turned a dull brown without the usual two-tone fall color exclamation, (not a plug, just an observation), but this year looks to be a good color year for her as well.  I guess we all need a vacation once in a while!

So back to the topic at hand…

‘’Stress,’’ as defined, is: “The ability of a system, to operate near capacity of its design.”

“Strain,” as defined, is: “The inability of a system to operate beyond its capacity of design.”

“Survival,” as defined, is: “As time allows, being able to perform at an optimum level, in and amongst those elements that are designed to defeat you.”

“Thrive,” as defined is:  “To utilize the opportunity of a surplus of essential elements, or energy, without natural predation.”

An economic recession would be best described as “stress.”

An economic depression would be best described as “strain.”

This year is a test. It is only a test… What to plant then?

Remember:  water, elements, temperature and space.

Yes, you can keep a polar bear in the desert, but you will have to give him (or her) a huge ice cube to sit on… And an armadillo in the snow will require a goose down vest and a wool cap. Better yet, plan for the extremes (high and low) and plant accordingly. And as always, mulch like crazy!