In that “things to ponder” department:
The big, old tree is no older than the Meetinghouse. I think it was planted in 1982, not quite 40 years ago. For some short-lived species, 40 years is a lifespan. For others, it is only the beginning. Strategies include “grow fast, die young,” and “be patient. Wait for the short-timers to age out. Then take over.” And there are some kind of in the middle.
We often equate size and age, especially among trees. There’s actually a rather poor correlation. What other factors contribute to the apparent disconnect between size and age?
More broadly, it can be understood as an error in attributing cause and effect.
What other places in our lives might we come to similar, if erroneous, conclusions?
What sorts of information and knowledge can help us avoid errors of attribution? With trees? With people? With news and information?