Why do we deface our mature American Beech Trees? And why do we think that we have to leave our names everywhere? (I'm apparently guilty as my name is on the tree too, via my watermark!) Almost eleven years ago to the day, I was sitting on a portable stool with my fellow Hiram College students in Carnarvon Gorge National Park in Australia. A ranger who was introducing us to the ecology and geology of hte park gave us a strong, almost accusatory warning that we Americans can't write on trees and cliff faces in Australia like we do in the USA. I've thought about this ever since, and I just don't get it. What compels us to do this? It's obviously ingrained into our culture, I'm not exactly sure how it started, and I don't see any sign of it stopping.