“Running on air and water”
Every year a given tree creates absolutely from scratch ninety-nine percent of its living parts.
Water lifting up tree trunks can climb one hundred and fifty feet an hour; in full summer a tree can, and does, heave a ton of water every day.
A big elm in a single season might make as many as six million leaves, wholly intricate, without budging an inch; I couldn’t make one.
A tree stands there, accumulating deadwood, mute and rigid as an obelisk, but secretly it seethes, it splits, sucks and stretches; it heaves up tons and hurls them out in a green, fringed fling.
No person taps this free power; the dynamo in the tulip tree pumps out even more tulip tree, and it runs on rain and air.
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek