The elm trees around our house are preparing for winter. Our 90 year old neighbour used to laugh and tell anyone who would listen that trees are just like him: “frugal recyclers”. Uncle Ernie collected stuff from back alleys and gave it away clean and all fixed up. He was so excited when my husband  (a scientist) told him that trees absorb nutrients for the winter and that’s what makes leaves red or yellow – they are missing the chlorophyll as it’s safely tucked away in the trunk until spring. Both trees and Uncle Ernie are the quintessential environmentalists.

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