(Continued from Botany 1: The whole tree)
What do trees eat anyway? Rocks? Soil? Fertilizer? NO! Fertilizer is not food.
Trees eat sugar, and they make it themselves.
In what is truly one of the foundation miracles of life on earth, photosynthesis allows trees and all plants to feed themselves. Using readily available materials found nearly everywhere on earth—air, water, soil, and sunshine—trees make forests, produce oxygen, fruit, spices, timber, fibers… The list of what trees give us is nearly endless.
From the soaring heights of the redwoods to the stubby arctic willow, the ancient bristlecones to the wonder of an aspen grove, trees are truly amazing. During the growing season, when trees produce more energy than they use, it is stored in the trunk and branches as starch and withdrawn later when needed. This is what some lucky Canadian hunter discovered when his arrow missed the deer and hit the sugar maple. In the spring, starch is converted back to sugar.