Tree rings and healthy habits

One Ringy Dingy, Two Ringy Dingy

Recently, a tree in the Municipal Park close to our home was cut down. A view of the cross-section reveals its growth rings. …
Even though you’ve cultivated a bevy of healthy habits, what single one stands head-and-shoulders above the rest toward your quality longevity?

Hi Laurie

So many great things listed by others already.

If there was just one thing, it would be supplement with Vitamin C. Get pure L-Ascorbic Acid, as pure as you can find it, and take a minimum teaspoon full twice a day. I take a heaped teaspoon twice a day, and if I feel even the tiniest niggle from a cold or flu or cough then I up it by adding in a 1/4 teaspoon every waking hour (on top of the heaped teaspoon twice a day).
Since adopting this regime I have been free of visible symptoms of any disease. I have felt the presence of colds and flus, with the same frequency as everyone else around me, but have not displayed any visible symptoms.

Tree rings are really fascinating.
Trees are not like us, they do not have a fixed final size and they do not display any loss of function with age, and they do not stop growing.

They do have some limits, the technology they use to pump water to their top branches does limit their size to around 400 ft tall, though in areas with regular fog they can potentially grow a little taller by harvesting water directly from the fog, and not pumping it up. There is no limit on width however.

However, as trees get older, they face the odds of those rare events that few things survive, forest fires, huge storms, very large earthquakes, volcanoes.
The oldest single trees known are about 4,900 years old.
Here in New Zealand our oldest trees are only a little over 2,000 years, and very few of those left. Over most of the North Island there are very few over 1800 years old, because of the explosion of the Taupo Volcano in AD186 that destroyed most things within a 160 mile radius (a very big bang – actually a series of very big bangs, about 10 minutes apart).

Large earthquakes also affect trees. If the tree manages to stay standing (which many do) then it usually has many of its roots destroyed by the shaking, so often there is a period of very little growth, that can last 3 to five years as the root structure recovers and new growth appears on the main trunk. Coring very old trees is one of the tools that earthquake researchers use to precisely date major earthquakes. By coring thousands of trees, and taking very precise measurements, they can get amazingly accurate information about location of the epicentre of the quake, and the size of the quake. Using old trees buried in swamps, and overlapping cores, this technique can locate old quakes to the year, going back 10,000 years in some locations. (Another technique used is to measure the size of lichens on large boulders. The lichens grow at a steady rate throughout life. With hundreds of thousands of measurements, it is possible to age and locate large earthquakes with amazing accuracy – down to a month or so, over a period of the last thousand years.)

Here in NZ we have the giant Kauri trees, which are not as tall as your sequoias, but are even more impressive in a sense, as the mature ones are huge, 20 ft thick or more, and the trunk is the same diameter all the way up to the first branch, which can be a hundred feet or more up. Standing in a mature stand of these giants makes one feel very small indeed – very much like Alice. Trounson Park (just north of Dargaville) is the best example that is easily accessible.

In the Waitekauri (between Paeroa and Waihi) there was a dance hall that was built on the stump of a Kauri tree – it was over 20ft across. It has rotted away completely now, but there was still a trace of it there when I was a kid.

So yeah – keep on breathing.
For trees that means keep on growing bigger.
We are different.
We can keep on the same size.
It seems very likely (now that Google have joined the game with Calico) that we will very soon be able to stop, then reverse the aging process in humans.
It seems that we as individuals will very likely get the chance to outlive even the oldest of living trees.

Keep breathing, keep a largely plant based diet (at least 90% of calories from plants) and aim for half of that raw, cut out refined sugars, take heaps of vitamin C, and get lots of exercise; and we just may live to see 5,000 and beyond.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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