Just a quick thought today.

Last weekend I went camping with some friends on Lake George – it was a beautiful restful weekend free of electronics (hence the late blog entry).

As I was relaxing at the campsite I looked around at all the trees and recalled learning all their names in gradeschool. Ironwood, poplar, spruce, etc…

I kept thinking to myself – why is it so important to learn the “proper” name of trees? There’s nothing inherently “poplar-y” about a poplar tree? What does it matter what we call them?

The reason we teach grade school children the correct names of tress is so they can live and survive in our society – living under our rules (rules that were established by people the came before them). But is that good enough reason to force everyone to use the same names for trees? Just because someone else came first and named them?

What if there was truly a better way to name trees? – we will never find out if we keep forcing children to memorize the “proper” names at a young age.

Learning the Names of Trees
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