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Thoreau and the Language of Trees$
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Richard Higgins and Robert D. Richardson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520294042

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520294042.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 16 May 2022

My Emblem, The Pine

My Emblem, The Pine

(p.112) (p.113) 6 My Emblem, The Pine
Thoreau and the Language of Trees

Richard Higgins

Richard Higgins

University of California Press

Thoreau felt a deep affinity for Pinus strobus, Eastern white pine, the tallest tree east of the Rockies. He called it the emblem of his life. He loved its erect posture, how its whorled branches jutt almost horizontal to its ramrod straight trunk. The pine was a sign of nature’s vigor. The scent of pines was an elixir to him. He identified with the pine’s wild spirit. Nothing stands up more free from blame than a pine tree. White pines played a big role in American history. Sought for masts by England, they became an early symbol of American identity. The tallest pines are not gone. Researchers have found 17 white pines in Massachusetts at least 160 feet.

Keywords:   affinity pine, pines, pine’s, Pinus strobus, white pine, tallest, emblem, erect, stands up, whorled, branches, ramrod, straight, trunk, vigor, scent, elixir, wild spirit, American history, lumber, England, symbol, American, identity, 160 feet

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