How is a tree supposed to grow?

Windswept Bay Tree on Mt. Tam

This is a top question that people ask about their trees.  They want to know what a healthy tree looks like, how long it takes to grow to maturity and the best conditions for their tree.

Based on the photo to the left, there is no set in stone answer.  The tree will reflect the will of the gardener.  In some cases, the gardener [bird] dropped a seed on a rock and never spent an ounce of energy caring for it.  In other cases, the gardener [human] carefully amends the soil and diligently monitors the moisture level of the soil.

Both approaches can produce stunning results.  Nature never ceases to amaze us and is endless source of inspiration.  Smart gardeners make small adjustments to nature over time to create man made masterpieces.