More Than A Tree
Over half of Washington state is covered in forest. That's nearly 2 billion trees — 252 for every person living here. We see them everywhere — in parks, out our living room windows and even along highway corridors. But we rarely see them in the headlines.
This series highlights five Pacific Northwest trees that deserve a closer look. We get to know a tree that has orbited the moon, a tree that gave us one of the most important cancer treatments of the last 50 years and a tree that has sperm (yes, sperm) that looks strangely human.
Monday, March 19, 2012
Meet ginkgo biloba. It's a common street tree in Seattle, but its reproductive cycle is anything but ordinary. Like humans, ginkos have free–swimming sperm. We meet to two ginkgos near Green Lake Park and talk "birds and bees" with tree expert Arthur Lee Jacobson.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
The Pacific Yew isn't a heroic looking tree. It's scrawny and slow growing. But, this unassuming conifer has saved thousands of lives. We meet a scientist and a cancer survivor to learn how yew bark led to one of the most important medical discoveries of our time.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
When a tree falls in the Pacific Northwest, it takes just as long to rot away as it did to grow into a tree. These decaying trees are called "nurse logs." They harbor whole new ecosystems of life. We explore the science and symbolism of our region's iconic nurse logs.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Something out of this world is growing on the Capital campus in Olympia. In 1971, an astronaut took about 500 tree seeds to the moon. One of those seeds ended up in Olympia. We visit the Moon Tree 41 years after its lunar orbit to find out why its future is uncertain.
Friday, March 23, 2012
Reincarnation is often thought of in spiritual terms, but science has its own version. It's called "nutrient cycling." We visit a cemetery to meet a woman who planted a tree on her mother's grave and considers life–after–death through the eyes of a biologist.