The areas of where a tree grows and thrives are known as an Ecosystems.
Ecosystems are variances of the regional environments of the planet and can be as diverse as a desert to a tropical forest just only miles apart from each other.
These small habitats are comprised of different levels of life working as a team for the survival of all. They function in giving while taking what they need. The life of these systems can be as varied as rotting vegetation to higher forms of life such as ourselves. Everything plays different roles in the health of an Ecosystem.
The Ecosystem is not limited to organic life. Climate has a great deal to offer to the stability of the area. Temperature, moisture and sunlight play factors for all life concerned inside the system. Depending on the availability or non availability of the natural occurrences in the climate, will become the diversification of the life within it.
I’m sure you have noticed that the deeper into the ground you go, the more moister and cooler temperature you can feel. These dramatic changes offer their own input into the Ecosystem. Each level of change in the moister, temperature and light is known as a micro-climate.
The bottom of a knoll will have a different micro-climate than the top of the knoll. Its not a dramatic major change, like going into a cave, but it could mean the difference in what type of plant will grow at the bottom from the plant that will grow at the top.
The tree connects to the ecosystem and micro-climates of the regional environments. Certain trees will not grow in the desert but will thrive in the tropics. This is due to the conditioning of the genetic structure of the tree.
The tree family, however, adapts quickly within a few generations and will adapt to most to all Ecosystems. The movement is extremely slow but has been documented. Conifers are the best example of this. They are found through out the globe.
To have this natural adjustment come to pass rapidly, humans have created hybrids of original family tree lines. Enhancing a character in the tree to perform to the Ecosystem that is created in gardens while still being able to withstand the regional environment to which it is being planted. The mimosa (or the silk tree) is a good example of this. They have been trained and can live in the driest deserts and the most humid tropics. The amount of leaves it will allow to its own Crown depends on the Micro-climate and Ecosystem.
When looking for a tree to connect with, one should not look for specific trees but rather the Micro-climate and Ecosystem to which the tree is growing in. Its easy to look in a book and find the generalize information of given trees. Then point to it and claim it as your tree totem. But then the true connection to the tree is lost. You would learn nothing of its essence or spirit. The tree as well could not impart wisdom to you.
That makes our own individuality is not how we stand but rather what we chose to stand in. The tree can not select the area in which it grows but can make the best with what it has. The Trees Micro-climate and Ecosystem should be compared with our own. Then when the connection is made, can we say, “yes, this is who I am, this is my tree totem.”