Natural Wonders

Here’s Why People In Australia Are Sending Emails To Trees… Seriously

"You do not have exams because you're a tree…"

Trees in Melbourne. Credit: Neoellis

“Dear Algerian Oak,

Thank you for giving us oxygen.

Thank you for being so pretty…”

So begins a letter from a resident in Melbourne, Australia to, um, a tree. Well tree ID Number 1032705 to be precise. It all started in 2013 when the local council in Melbourne assigned ID numbers and email addresses to the city’s trees so residents could report any problems with dangerous branches.

But then in a beautifully human response, people started emailing messages and in some cases love missives to the trees. The chair of Melbourne’s Environment Portfolio, Councillor Arron Wood, told The Atlantic, it was “an unintended but positive consequence.” He also said it revealed “the love Melburnians have for our trees.”

Credit: iStock/weareadventurers

Here are two messages in which the trees even replied, somehow… it’s hard to read without picturing their twigs tapping on a keyboard.

Dear Green Leaf Elm,

I hope you like living at St. Mary’s. Most of the time I like it too. I have exams coming up and I should be busy studying. You do not have exams because you are a tree. I don’t think that there is much more to talk about as we don’t have a lot in common, you being a tree and such. But I’m glad we’re in this together.


Hello F,

I do like living here.

I hope you do well in your exams. Research has shown that nature can influence the way people learn in a positive way, so I hope I inspire your learning.

Best wishes,

Green Leaf Elm, Tree ID 1022165

You do not have exams because you are a tree…but I’m glad we’re in this together.

Hi Tree,

Are you worried about being affected by the Greek debt crisis? Should Greece be allowed to stay in the European Union?



Hi Troy,

I seem to remember the Greeks razed you to the ground one time—are you still angry at them?

Greece is not out of the woods yet, but may be out of the EU….Some say that they should be allowed to devalue their currency in order to recover their economy, but the EU will not allow them to do that. Some say that it is partly the austerity program, which has made it this bad. They say austerity was a disaster for Russia after the breakup of the Soviet Union and for the recovery of Asia from the GFC…

I don’t know, but then I’m only a tree.


Western Red Cedar

Trees in Melbourne. Credit: iStock/weareadventurers

Perhaps it means the people of Melbourne will treat their trees better too. And not knock them down to build sun-rooms for their houses or etch their lovers’ names into their bark or wee on them when drunk. Well all but the last one anyway.

H/T The Atlantic

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