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February 10, 2009

Trees = Scary

Apparently I am not the only person who is a little bit scared of trees. After Googling “fear of trees,” I discovered that dendrophobia is pretty common, although not so common that my built-in dictionary recognizes the word. Here’s why trees creep me out: I find them to be merciless, savage predators of air, light, and space. Sure they seem benign in their cheery summer frocks, but when winter comes and they are shorn of their greenery, their true appearance emerges. The appearance of the undead. Because that’s what trees are in the winter – zombies. Not quite alive, not quite dead. They are living skeletons, the kinds of things you have to roll a pretty high number on a twenty-sided die to kill in Dungeons and Dragons.


People think a fear of trees is irrational because trees can’t hurt you but lots of scary things can’t hurt you: fire, for example. (I recognize that fire is a bad example because fire can actually hurt you quite badly but I couldn’t think of anything else. Water? Same thing, I guess) Besides, trees can hurt you. For example, a tree can fall on your face. A tree can also drop an acorn up your urethra if you are standing upside down and naked. If you don’t think that would be terrible, then maybe you’re the irrational one. A tree can also house the world’s largest snake, the anaconda, which can swallow a baby. Granted, in that scenario the anaconda is probably causing more harm than the tree, but the tree is enabling the anaconda which is just as bad.

Obviously one solution for people with dendrophobia is to undergo counseling and work to resolve this fear. The other solution is to chop down trees.

A lot of folks get bent out of shape over chopping down trees, especially old trees, but I’m of the opinion that it’s the old ones that should go first. Stuff isn’t meant to live for hundreds and hundreds of years; at a certain point, my feeling is “enough is enough.” For man to truly have dominion over the natural world I think it’s important that we put trees in their place. We shouldn’t protect them just because they’re old. After all, we don’t grant extra-special protection to people just because they’re old. Why should we do it for trees? In fact, the opposite is true. As a species, we recognize that as people get older, they get scarier, and as a result we let them die. The same standard should be applied to trees.

Furthermore, if we allow trees to keep growing unchecked, eventually they will block out all the available sunlight. We see this effect all the time in the Amazon rain forest. The tree canopy blocks out most of the available light, rendering vast stretches of forest sterile and lifeless. Yes, I recognize that some biologists will quibble with my description of the Amazon as “sterile” and “lifeless” but please keep in mind that most of these people have agendas.

One point tree huggers often raise is that trees make air. I will concede that a symbiotic relationship has evolved between carbon dioxide-loving people and carbon monoxide-loving trees. The stuff we exhale is the stuff they inhale. So be it. Now consider what would happen to people if there were no trees. I will tell you: humanity would be forced to make an evolutionary leap towards a species that does not require air. What would be the obvious byproduct of such an evolutionary leap? Interstellar planetary colonization. Ironically, cutting down all those “life-giving” trees may actually increase the chances of humanity’s survival by making it easier for us to leave Earth!

The final point I want to make is that dendrophobia need not interfere with anybody’s life. It certainly doesn’t impact mine any more than my other phobias: worms, spooky music, over-sized breasts. I have learned to accommodate all of these fears, just as I have learned to accept my fear of trees. I am not honestly suggesting we get rid of trees any more than I am suggesting we get rid of spooky music. Both provide a valuable service. But what I am suggesting is that we try to understand each other a little better so that the next time somebody says they have a fear of something, rather than calling them a pussy, you instead give that person comfort and a hug. Unless it is specifically hugs they are afraid of (aphenphosmphobia), in which case I would just stick with comfort.


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you're going to make a lot of these people upset



further evidence of tree evil:


Trees better watch their backs. A reckonin' is a comin'.


Dane Cook isn't afraid of trees. He'll beat you up.


Oh, you're a sneaky one. I was almost swayed by this arguement. I like your old people example. God, it's so true. Those things are just awful.


oh, p.s. thanks for agreeing we might be soul mates. ;)


"After all, we don’t grant extra-special protection to people just because they’re old. Why should we do it for trees? In fact, the opposite is true. As a species, we recognize that as people get older, they get scarier, and as a result we let them die."

I laughed and laughed and laughed!!! Excellent post. Just when I think you've hit the top, you crank out one of these.

This is weird. My husband started a new painting of a gnarled Grimms Fairytale-like tree. Anyway, I walked past it and said to myself: "That is one scary tree..." I open this blog and what do I see? Whoa. Not that you have any clue that this is going on in my humble abode, or care for that matter, I just wanted to reach out and, as they say in group therapy: "share".

Love love love the Q & A board. You're a sweetie to do that for everyone. On the one hand it makes us all feel closer to you so that's just marvelous. But on the other hand everyone is going to want to invite you over for Sunday brunch and tell you about their cat.

P.S. I'm also terrified of large breasts, primarily because I have none.


"I will concede that a symbiotic relationship has evolved between carbon dioxide-loving people and carbon monoxide-loving trees."

Slight error here. People breathe oxygen, plants use carbon dioxide. Carbon monoxide is loved by no one.


The trees in The Wizard Of Oz still scare the bejesus outta me.


winter trees I have always loved, zombies I have always feared, thus now I fear my love for winter trees. Stinker.


I'm a dendrophile to your dendrophobe.


BALTIMORE (AP) -- An increasing number of studies are finding that trees may be the cause of several serious health concerns. This goes against the popular belief that an abundance of trees actually helps the environment. A group of scientists in Baltimore, Maryland have recently published their findings of a decade-long study about the harmful effects of trees.

Dr. Nicolas Cray summarized one of the bigger findings of the study when he said, “We have been studying forest fires for years. If trees were not involved, these forest fires would not have happened, causing so much destruction.” The study compares the flammability of concrete to trees. “Statistically, the trees burned much faster,” Cray stated.

Another point in the study discusses trees and their contribution to automobile accidents. “Anytime you turn on the news, there are stories about people running their cars into trees and getting injured or even killed. Upon further consideration, we could even consider these types of incidents Manslaughter,” declared Professor Paula Finkelstein. The study provides thorough statistical analysis of car accidents and the involvement of trees.

Millions of people around the world suffer from seasonal allergies attributed to pollen. “When most people are planning vacations with their families, these people dread the coming of spring when pollen will blanket every visible surface. We have done the research. Trees are the cause of all of this discomfort!” said Cray. “This is big-lumber run amuck. The results of our research have been silenced from the beginning.”

The study goes further to discuss that this issue has aesthetic problems as well. “Pollen not only clutters up our neighborhood, it can stain our clothes, and I have air conditioning, so I never even sit in the shade,” a concerned citizen stated.

In opposition to the anti-tree initiatives of the Baltimore scientists are the hippies. “The ‘tree-hugging hippies’ came forward during our studies. In our research, we wanted to isolate the hippie from the trees in order to determine why we should listen to these people regarding this important scientific issue. We have found that many of these people do not bathe on a regular basis. In addition, we have found that most of these people are vegetarians. They are clearly not getting enough protein to be able to analyze this environmental issue carefully. This arena is best suited for highly educated scientists that bathe,” stated Dr. Lauren Martin.

“We are now living in the digital age. Of course there may have been a need for trees in the past, but our findings show how dangerous these trees have become. If we can eliminate these pillars of destruction completely, the earth will be much safer and cleaner for future generations,” Dr. Martin concludes.

Me and a few friends made this up a year ago. Thanks for adding more evidence.


Whoa, I think you're right about dem dere trees. So it's probably not my imagination that this tree http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g319/javaship/IMG_8291.jpg seems to sway a few feet closer to the house whenever my husband is in the room. They're morphing and are going to take over the world, although you'd think they would sprout feet or clawlike hands first. Oh well. Priorities.


Here's a list of celebs with phobias:


I never thought I'd have something in common with Billy Bob Thornton, but sure enough we both share a fear of antiques.


There is no way an acorn could fall into your urethra if standing upside down and naked. Gravity will be against you and keep the opening in the opposite direction. If aroused, I am still pretty sure it will be facing the opposite direction. I can only imagine this scenario to occur if the acorn bounces off the ground and up into the blick. Nice try though.


I've always thought trees were the root of all evil myself, because they have roots. HA! Ha?


Ralph = killjoy



unfortunately the last entry is dated February 2007. the logical conclusion is that she got mixed up with some rebel palm trees and it ended badly.

John Morris

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Izzy is Adorable


Don't you know trees are AWESOME? :y

uggs outlet

As everyone seems preoccupied (and rightly so) with the proper pruning of crepe myrtles, click on the following link to see "Stop, Don't Chop" -- the definitive article, written by me of course,which will tell you everything you need to know.

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