Anything to preserve a tree
Originally uploaded by rob helpychalk.
Mark Elvin, in his book on the history of the environment in China, Retreat of the Elephants, notes that the Chinese protect individual trees with the same enthusiasm that they decimate whole forests. All the trees in the formal gardens we visited in China reflected this. The gardeners go to great length to avoid pruning or cutting down trees, often resorting to elaborate metal scaffolding to support huge trunks that are essentially growing horizontally.