What is the wisdom shown by “wise trees”? Is it perhaps that they appear to cease striving and simply endure because growth is made impossible by the “sure” arrival of cold, of scarce and pale light, and of water frozen solid? Or might the verse call to mind the “wisdom” of genetic information encoded in the tree’s DNA?
This “wisdom” instructs cells in the tree buds to produce a coating of waxy scales that protect the buds from cold and drought, protecting the future of the tree. On each forest giant, thousands of buds contain millions of cells intricately organized into highly compressed shoots, ready to explode out into new branches and leaves.