Welcome to Seedlings, a blog which focuses on ideas, trends, and best practices for successfully launching next generation family members in life and business. We hope to attract a broad spectrum of individuals who are deeply interested in the flourishing of individuals and the strengthening of the fabric of relationships which connect individuals within families, trusts, family businesses and foundations.
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I’ve been fascinated by the interconnectedness and sustainability of the redwood grove, a family of trees which thrives for up to two millennia. The two biggest threats to the redwood are wind and fire. Its thick bark allows the mature redwood to survive all but the hottest of fires. But the redwood’s secret to surviving the gale force winds from the Pacific Ocean is an interconnected root system.
The redwood tree, which can grow as tall as a 35 story skyscraper, amazingly lacks a tap root. Instead, the root system of the redwood tree is surprisingly shallow, no deeper than 6-12 feet. But the redwood trees share a hidden secret.
Underneath the surface of the grove their roots all intertwine, so much so that they are locked to each other. This interconnected root system gives the trees so much strength that they stand strong when storms come and winds blow. Not only do the redwoods support and protect each other through their root system but the redwood tree is a dramatic example of generativity in many other ways. For example, fallen redwood logs serve as nurseries for the growth of seedlings. And the redwood seed is smaller than a tomato seed and yet it can produce a tree that can easily house the Statue of Liberty.Redwoods are a wonderfully rich symbol for interconnectedness, growth, and generativity.