CORVALLIS, Ore. – We may value forests most for timber, wildlife and scenic beauty, but the real treasure may lie largely hidden in the soil.
At the Nov. 9 Corvallis Science Pub, an Oregon State University forest researcher and four visual artists will discuss their efforts to understand the “life” of dead trees through science and the arts. They are all participating in a project, The Afterlife of Trees, organized by the Corvallis Arts Center in partnership with the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature and the Written Word at OSU.
The Science Pub presentation is free and open to the public. It begins at 6 p.m. at the Old World Deli, 341 S.W. 2nd St. in Corvallis.
“In many cases, dead trees are more alive than living ones,” said Mark Harmon, professor and holder of the Richardson Chair in the Oregon State College of Forestry who will speak at the event. “Dead trees are used by almost every group of major organisms in forests – plants, animals, microbes, protozoans and lichens.
“We need to make informed decisions about dead trees,” Harmon added. “In the past, we have not, and it has been costly economically and ecologically.”
Artists Leah Wilson, David Paul Bayles, Bob Keefer and Andries Fourie will describe their visual interpretations of tree decomposition. Their work will be part of a show at the Arts Center, which is scheduled to run from Jan. 15 to Feb. 25.