Evolutionary theory is fairly well misunderstood by most folks. It's fairly obvious really, but there are those who study ignorance, and those who prefer ignorance to knowing. I prefer knowing.
I was thinking about this while leaning on the deck rail in a break in our long delayed rain and looking at the various trees that have survived our record drought...And also looking at the trees that didn't. Every living thing is different from every other living thing...different, even, from those other living things it is most alike: Mother, Father, siblings, and various cousins. Taller, shorter, weaker, stronger...strong in ways that aren't obvious, like the ability to stand a shortage of life sustaining water.
I thought about that because some of my trees aren't looking too good. Ok, some of them are dead. But now that the rains have finally come, some of them have perked up and look fine. Some are toast, and some others are indeterminate. This is one of those evolutionary filters that take certain members of the gene pool...out of the gene pool. They have a combination of genetic materials that are unsuited for survival in years like this one. "Filtered out" they are.
Two of my native azaleas and a rhododendron or two got "filtered out". The ones that are left will have to take over and fill some gaps. So will some oaks and pines and cherry trees up on the ridge. Their roomates got filtered.
Whether this is an aberration or the new rule of climate for our area, we don't know. I think we're screwing it up and I also think we won't stop doing it anytime soon, so the trees better get with it.
It's filter time ...And while Blogs are writ by fools like me...
Only trees can make a tree.