Social Question

mljoyce's avatar

Where does the term "tree hugger" come from?

Asked by mljoyce (1points) August 8th, 2010

Some people are referred to as tree huggers. I think that means these people are more liberal, only shop at farmer’s market (or grow their own food), eat only organic, and do camping a lot. However, when some people talk about tree hugger, it sounds quite negative to me. I wonder where this term comes from and why it sounds so negative and sometimes so socialist.

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8 Answers

NormanL's avatar

A Tree Hugger is so passionate about not cutting trees that the will tie themselves to a tree to try and keep the logger from cutting it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What Norman said. It’s from the 70’s dude. “Tree Hugger”, “Hippie”....the same thing.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

While I’m not sure about this, I think it comes from the way foresters measure trees. They use an offset measuring tape designed to estimate the diameter of the tree as it is run around the trunk of the tree at 4.5 feet from the ground (DBH tape, which gives tree diameter at breast height, or 4.5 ft on the average person). So, as they measure around the tree, it appears that they are hugging it. Back when the U.S. Forest Service was established, foresters were some of the first people doing any type of ecological/conservation work in the U.S., so in a certain sense, they were precursors to the modern day environmentalist.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities Interesting. But I remember when the term went main stream. It was from activists (Hippies) who were trying to stop deforestation. They’d hug the trees so that all cutting had to stop until they got moved.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

@Dutchess_III Yeah, that’s probably where the term did originate. I just remember my Forestry professor proudly telling the class one day that “Foresters were the first real tree huggers.”

Mom2BDec2010's avatar

You’ve never seen a movie where someone chains themselves to a tree cause they didnt want other people destroying the environment. Lol.

NormanL's avatar

Trees are just a crop like corn. Corn is harvested every year. Trees are harvested anywhere from 20 years to 50 years in the south. It is a true renewable resource. Reproduction can be by natural regeneration or artifical regeneration. Tree huggers were misguided people.

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