Trees Feeding Trees
EXHIBITION:The Gifts of Trees
Inspired by the book Salmon in the Trees by Amy Gulick, this piece speaks of the role of the nurse log in the perpetuation of Pacific Northwest rainforests. Fallen trees open up the forest canopy and allow tiny seeds, light and space to germinate, the downed tree itself providing a nutrient rich bed for the seedlings to grow in. Additionally, we are now learning how extremely vital the returning salmon are to the forest’s health. The huge runs of salmon in southeast Alaska bring a wealth of nutrients into the farthest reaches of the forests where bears, eagles and countless other creatures and insects feed on and feed the salmon. Up to 70% of the nitrogen in streamside foliage is of ocean origin–brought by salmon, delivered by bears, drawn into the roots of plants.