Wednesday, 1 October 2014

baumbastik

Watching a documentary in search of Germany's most venerable trees—which featured such specimens as this tree in Salz, a community founded by Charlemagne (Karl der Große) and a suburb of our fair city, Bad Karma, I learned that there is no known tree to have surpassed the millennium mark (those whom might have been in serious contention were felled by Christian missionaries as pagan idolaltry), although at least one noble tree, per the practise of designating separate districts of forest where no one lives, has its own postal code and receives postcards.

This tree pictured is a linden and of advanced age, whose blooms in its boughs are important for the production of honey and was a choice material for wood- carving—the medium employed by Tilman Riemenschneider and other artists. I also learned that the word for beech (Buche, cf., Buch) is derived from the same Proto-Germanic root for book, as before the introduction of parchment and paper, the wood was used for tablets for northern European societies. A sooty pigment called bistre is also obtained by burning the wood and used by ancient people as a form of ink up to modern times with many of the Old Masters for using it for their sketches.