What would you say to your favorite tree?

Well, the people of Melbourne, Australia took the time to email their thoughts to some of the city’s 70,000 Eucalyptus, oaks, and elms.

It all started because city services wanted an easy way for people to report problems with trees, like dangerous branches or storm damage. Planners came up with the idea of assigning each tree its own email address — people could then easily send a local report.

But some people took the opportunity to write directly to the trees themselves, to express their adoration.

My dearest Ulmus,
As I was leaving St. Mary’s College today I was struck, not by a branch, but by your radiant beauty. You must get these messages all the time. You’re such an attractive tree.

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The Atlantic monthly collected some of these “tree-mails,” including one written from the perspective of a tree in the United States.

How y’all?

My name is Quercus Alba.  Y’all can call me Al.  I’m about 350 years old and live on a small farm in N.E. Mississippi, USA.  I’m about 80 feet tall, with a trunk girth of about 16 feet.  I don’t travel much (actually haven’t moved since I was an acorn).  I just stand around and provide a perch for local birds and squirrels.

Have good day,

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“The email interactions reveal the love Melburnians have for our trees,” the city’s Environment Chairman, Councillor Arron Wood (yes, that’s his real name) told the Atlantic.

Dear 1037148,
You deserve to be known by more than a number. I love you. Always and forever.

The Urban Forest database is similar to other digital city service systems around the world — Chicago has a pothole tracker and Honolulu has a tsunami siren adoption program — but only the life enhancing tree has stirred such a lovefest among city dwellers.

(READ more at The Atlantic)

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