The other day I was walking my normal route and I came across a chestnut tree.  Totally bare now, without its tell tale leaves to help identify it, I know it’s a chestnut because I remember a guy on a vespa type of scooter, shaking the tree and then holding a bag underneath to catch the nuts. Very entertaining stuff.

Anyway, now the tree is bare and you can really see the branch structure.  It struck me that this tree and many other trees that develop a double leader, look a lot like a hand drawn picture of human lungs.  Without the leaves to camoflauge the structure, you can really see the shape of the tree.

There is a similar, much larger tree at Longwood Gardens that I noticed a few years ago.  It really looks like you could superimpose a photo of the small veins and arteries that make up the structure of the human lungs over top of these trees and see a similarity. Isn’t nature wild?

Does anyone else think it’s ironic that the very beings (trees) that produce the majority of the oxygen that we breath, have a structure that looks like the very organ that they are providing the oxygen for? No, only me? Oh well. Here are the photos, see what you think!

*Correction: It turns out that my very wise mentor informed me, after I wrote this post, that in fact, the majority of the world’s oxygen comes from phytoplankton (an aquatic plant) and not from trees.  In his words, “Terrestrial plants (including tress) produce about 20 to 30% of the worlds’ oxygen supply.” Even still, I’m amazed with the structure of trees and the way nature mimics itself.


Tree at Longwood Gardens


Chestnut tree in Forchheim

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 16.22.54

Picture of human lungs (taken from google)


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