November 5, 2012 /
Timothy Hoagland

Medicinal Trees & Healing Powers

Throughout the month of November, we’ll be highlighting medicinal trees – trees whose uses go far beyond absorbing CO2, diminishing stormwater runoff, and keeping little birds’ nests safe and sound. Just as Dr. William Sullivan highlighted in his keynote speech at this year’s Tree Canopy Symposium (and the ASLA’s The Dirt recounted), trees have a significant impact on humans outside of the realms typically associated to them. The ASLA noted that from Dr. Sullivan’s research, it is strikingly clear that “the social and psychological benefits of trees and other greenery may even eclipse their ecological benefits.” And it’s this healing power, so to speak, that we believe does not get praised enough – thus why we’re dedicating a month’s worth of resources to it.

Our first resource is the Tree Talk Thursday we recently concluded – we were joined by Sara Salam from Luminous Warriors and Holly Poole-Kavana from Little Redbird Botanicals, discussing basic medicinal uses of area trees; considerations for harvesting from trees in a respectfully sustainable method; chakras, stress management and toxin release; and “Ayni” relationships, etc.

We’ll be hosting a Medicinal Tree class at 6:30 p.m. on November 15th – Holly Poole-Kavana will come back to give another chance to people to engage, ask questions, and learn about several native and non-native trees and shrubs with healing properties. Species to be covered include ailanthus, black walnut, sassafras, white oak, white pine and others. (One spot left – hurry!)

Lastly, we’ll be leading a Medicinal Tree Tour at the National Arboretum at 2 p.m. on November 18th – Holly Poole-Kavana will once again lend her expertise and experience to us, explaining the uses and preparations of medicinal trees while traveling through the trails in the Arboretum’s Fern Valley. The focus will be basic identification and medicinal uses of a variety of species, including black walnut, oaks, sassafras, white pine and other species.

We hope that these resources help bring to light a fuller perspective of the benefits trees give us, and we can’t wait to see you either online, in class, or on the tour!