Use-Value of Trees

Since the beginning of this blog, Sycamo has stood his ground as the leader among trees. He’s a provider for many, animals, plants, other trees, and humans. He has taught me that providing for those that matter to you are important, but even more important is expecting nothing in return.

Gould in The Marxist Glossary defines use-values as “anything that satisfies a human want” (1943: 96). I am thinking that Sycamo is satisfying my human want, as he is essential to my grade in class. But I think he is a need rather than a want because the class requires me to keep a blog, meaning I need to put in effort into completing it. I’d leave it as something that can be argued on both ends.

Sycamo has allowed me to enter a state of tranquility when everything around me was chaotic. He gives me comfort. He gives animals comfort. He gives the soil comfort. Sycamo is a tree that provides for all. I will now explain how he has provided a lot for the environment, campus, global ecosystems, world, and I.

Sycamo has many relationships with its surrounding environment/nature. Animals use Sycamo as a food source for he drops fruit that has seeds inside packed tightly together called Achenes. American Goldfinches, purple finches, but most importantly the common gray squirrels we see around campus. He also provides shelter for woodpeckers, owls, blue jay, and squirrels. It is evident how many animals are dependent on Sycamo whenever I sit down to observe what goes on around him. On a global ecosystem and world scale, Sycamo and other American Sycamore’s are important in having carbon sequestration. Carbon sequestration is the long-term storage of carbon dioxide and other forms of carbon that are detrimental to global warming and climate change. American sycamores like Sycamo are planted to stop soil erosion. Another use-value of American Sycamore’s is that their wood is used for furniture, baskets, cardboard boxes, and other uses. Overall, Sycamo is valuable to the environment, global ecosystem, and the world.

Lamppost near Sycamo

Lamppost near Sycamo

In regards to campus, American Sycamore provides aesthetics. It is another tree that makes our campus enhances the aesthetics of Dickinson College. People do not appreciate the value of it as an individual tree but as a group of trees I think it is more valuable for aesthetics than anything.

As mentioned before, Sycamo has given me tranquility at the times I needed it the most. He was my escape from all the stressful times of college work and thinking about what I am going to do after graduation. Time is passing and it continues to become more and more stressful as graduation nears. Nature can be soothing and all it takes is for us to go out and experience it for ourselves. It is spiritually lifting to be able to go away from all the hectic day-to-day activities of humans. Even for just a moment. Trees like Sycamo give so much to all those who are part of the environment. These contributions go completely unnoticed.

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