Trees are rooted in the earth. Except for their upward and outward growth, they are basically static – unless they’re blown over or chopped down, they’re not going anywhere. So, if humans are crazy enough to put an object close to a growing tree, sooner or later the tree will begin to engulf that object. All around the world, hungry trees are consuming fences and posts, signs and park benches, gravestones, bicycles and even cars.
I’ve only been in Cardiff a short while, but already I’ve discovered two hungry trees. One is slowly but surely wrapping itself around a post box in my street. And not just any post box – this tree has style. It’s consuming a Grade II-listed Victorian post box that was probably erected around 1900. Not surprisingly, the post box has now been decommissioned.
My other hungry tree is growing in the local cemetery and it has an urn in its clutches. Perhaps the urn toppled off its pillar on a neighbouring grave, perhaps a vandal knocked it off, and it fell between some saplings. Whatever happened, it’s now wedged tight and, as the saplings grow, the urn is raised higher and higher above the ground.
So, stay alert! You might well have hungry trees in your neighbourhood.