Looking through the classics, I found a lot of sayings about “being connected with trees”: The Chinese nation has a fine tradition of planting trees since ancient times, and our ancestors have long realized that trees are always good friends of mankind.
In the “Biography of Immortals” written by Ge Hong in the Jin Dynasty, there was a famous doctor named Dong Tai during the Three Kingdoms period, and he was called the “Three Genius Doctors of Jian’an” together with Zhang Zhongjing and Hua Tuo. There is a “quirk” of this person’s practice of medicine: no money is charged for the treatment, but the patient must plant apricot trees in front of and behind his house. Therefore, more than 100,000 apricot trees appeared behind the front yard of the Dong’s house, which became an apricot forest. In the summer, Dong Feng traded sweet apricots for rice to help the poor, leaving behind the story of “Dongxian Xinglin”. Later generations used “Xinglin” to refer to the medical profession, and used “Xinglin Chunnuan” and “Xinglin Chunman” to praise the doctors’ superb medical skills and noble medical ethics.
Yang Guang, the tyrant of Sui Yang, also left a lot of political achievements. In “Opening the River”, during his reign, Yang Guang ordered the excavation of the Tongji Canal, and then ordered his subjects to plant willow trees on both sides of the canal, with the same river base, “anyone who planted willows will give a silk.” At the same time, he personally planted with a spade, and gave the national surname “Yang” “gift” to the willow tree, enjoying the “treatment” of the same surname as the emperor, so the willow tree was also called “Yangliu”. Under his advocacy, there are rows of green willows on both sides of the canal, lush green, clear rivers and solid embankments, and good ecology.
When Liu Zongyuan, one of the “Eight Masters of Prose in the Tang and Song Dynasties,” was appointed as the governor of Liuzhou, he vigorously advocated greening and planted willow trees in Liuzhou. He wrote poems and described the day, “The history of Liuzhou willows, planting Liuliujiang River”, “Hand planting two hundred oranges, and new leaves in spring all over the city”, he is a kind of personal style.
Rule the country
Kublai Khan, the ancestor of the Yuan dynasty, had a well-known strategy for ruling the country: people plant the roadside. He issued a decree to allow people across the country to plant a tree that grows tall and fast on both sides of the road. After these trees are grown, they will be shaded in summer for pedestrians to enjoy the shade; in winter, when roads are closed by heavy snow, they can serve as road signs; after the trees are mature, they can also be used to build bridges. In order to urge the people to plant trees, Kublai also sent officials to patrol the country.
Help the poor
At the end of the Yuan Dynasty and the beginning of the Ming Dynasty, there was an enlightened gentry named Yang Daqing in Fujian, who paid great attention to greening. In a certain year, there was a food shortage in his hometown, and Yang Daqing opened his own granary to help the victims. He has a special rule for disaster relief: anyone who leads a bucket of valley must first plant a tree on Dafu Mountain in front of the village. The victims followed suit. A few years later, the bare Dafu Mountain became a sea of green. Before Yang Daqing dies, he made a will: The trees used by the victims of the children’s victims can be used for building houses for poor people in addition to repairing bridges and paving roads and running schools.
In 1866, Zuo Zongtang was transferred to the governor-general of Shaanxi and Gansu. When he moved westward, he saw “the red land is like stripping, the bald mountains are thousands of miles away, and the yellow sand is flying” along the way. He then passed the order: wherever the army passes by, plant trees must be greeted. Zuo Zongtang took the lead and planted willow with his pick. A total of 260,000 willows were planted along the 600-mile road along the Hexi Corridor, known as “Zuogong Liu”. The significance of this move is: one is the roadbed of Gongtong, the other is to prevent wind and sand, the third is to limit the foot of the army and horse, and the fourth is to provide shade for the benefit of pedestrians. Planting trees in Hexi has been difficult since ancient times, but under the strict supervision of Zuo Zongtang, Dao Liu’s “stretching for thousands of miles, green as a curtain” outside the Great Wall was formed.