5 Things You Should Know About The Colour Green

Old Banyan tree located in Karachi Zoological and Botanical Garden

I am a huge admirer of native trees. This is a story of an Indian fig tree that has been on this planet for as long as one can imagine. For some indigenous people, this tree is 100 years old and according to some old folk, this banian tree is more than 200 years ago.

(The banyan in old days was usually spelt as banian or banius because of its reference to the trader’s community who used to sit and sold their precious products under the mighty shade of these trees.)

Image Courtesy: Suleman Sajjad

From a historical perspective, it has been rumoured that Mahatama Gandhi used to sit beneath the green shade of this tree. The Zoo was known as a Mahatama Gandhi Garden in those unforgettable times.

This is a little known fact that the Karachi zoo came into existence in the year 1878. Because of his immense fondness for that botanical garden, it was initially called a Mahatama Gandhi Garden. It was turned into the zoo after the partition in 1947 and hence the name was mercilessly changed for the generations to come.

Image Courtesy: Suleman Sajjad

The banyan tree is a popular Pakistani village tree and in the native language, it is commonly known as the Barghad ka darakht. According to the local community, a banyan is a tree that makes wishes comes true.

It is a fig tree that has happily begun its life as an epiphyte. If you are not familiar with the term epiphyte then I would like to describe it as a kind of plant that usually grows on another plant but not as a parasite.

It grows on a host plant but unlike a parasitic plant, it takes no nutrients from the host tree but mostly relies on nutrients from other resources such as from the air, rainwater etc.

I am an ardent lover of three kinds of trees and their names are as per excellence. These are Naeem, peepal and banyan tree because my childhood was mostly spent under the shade of these beautiful trees. Native trees are usually aggressive and invasive in their behaviour and they have that innate ability to grow almost everywhere in a very short period.

Image Courtesy: Suleman Sajjad

The leaves of the tree as can be seen in these pictures are large, green, and elliptical. Some leaves are glossy, bright in appearance where there is sufficient sunlight and some leaves are dusty and thick, leathery in texture.

The trunks are painted white to signify that it is government property and hence, it is protected by law. In my opinion, old trees should not be painted white or in any colour possible so that people should respect and protect all old trees equally in their vicinity.

The fallen leaves are yellow and noticeably, there is no trace of grass under the shade of this tree. It is quite proverbial that nothing ever grows under the Banyan tree. The banyan tree does not let any grass or weed grow under it and believe me the reason for this is quite alluring and satisfying. As you can see that banyan leaves are quite thick and leathery and the entire tree looks like a huge mushroom type. Therefore the foliage of thick leaves doesn’t allow anything to flourish or sprout on its own. Only the plants that lacks chlorophyll can survive under a huge banyan tree.

Sources:

She teaches me the name of flowers

Mango – A wish-granting tree (Part 1)

Getting behind the trees physical and healing properties and understanding of practical qualities is the key to comprehend their unique character.

An esoteric study of trees in folklore and mythology is essential to understand them more extensively and clearly in order to obtain exclusive benefits from them.

By esoteric study, I propose inherently gravitating towards the intellectual side of the trees and appreciating their uniqueness and individuality to such a great extent that it becomes easier to discover more about various cultural aspects of these trees in our folklore and mythology.

To observe trees in their grandest form is always a pleasure and contentment in itself. I should have compiled these anecdotes a decade ago but due to professional loyalties and commitments, I have to abandon that dearest practice of learning about trees a long time ago as an enthusiast.

Today the topic is about idealizing the benefits of a heavenly tree that is very close to the heart of people where it has been growing for centuries. There is no doubt about that the history of the mango tree is as delicious as the taste of mangoes.

Mango – A wish-granting tree

Let’s know about the mythical meaning of the mango trees in folklore and mythology by first emphasizing upon their geographical distribution and significance.

The accumulated global knowledge and information on the majestic mango trees have a tendency to fill many volumes. Even a single story about the mango tree has a propensity to fill many papers. Even a single fact about the mango tree requires comprehensive research and analysis.

So, the sole purpose of this article is to summarize different characteristics of the mango trees that made them so attractive and beneficial along with their various historical meanings and findings in ancient scripts and writings.

Since the Ancient time, mango tree has a great cultural, socio-economic and religious significance in Indo-Pak Subcontinent.

It is seen as a symbol of love and people believe that the mango tree can fulfil our wishes.

The origin of Mango trees

A brief history of mango trees

1. The mango tree is native to South Asian countries and has become one of the most essential fruit crops in the world with the passage of time.

2. The domestication and cultivation of mango trees in Pakistan and India are as old as 4,000 to 6000 years.

This time period in history is known as the Holocene epoch or the age of man. What does that mean?

It was that time when old civilisations were developing such as Indus Valley Civilisation in its Pre Harrapan phase. Also known as an early food-producing era.

3. Chronological records and palaeobotanical science provided interesting information on tree fossils and gave sufficient proof about its origin in the Indo-Burma-Malay region.

Indo is the term used as relating to India. It is mostly used when referring to ancient India which now combines many neighbouring countries especially Pakistan and Bangladesh which was once considered as the part of India.

Old map of India featuring Indo Burma Malay Region

4. Based on the detailed history of the origin of mango trees, it is determined that the native home of common mango (Mangifera indica) was known as Eastern India, Indo-China, Assam and Burma.

5. Scientific fossil evidence indicates that the mango tree made its first appearance even earlier 25 to 30 million years

6. It was Mukherjee who suggested that Mangifera indica first appeared during the Quaternary period.

The Quaternary Period is divided into two epochs: the Pleistocene(2.588 million years ago to 11.7 thousand years ago) and the Holocene (11.7 thousand years ago to today).

7. History is mostly guessing and the rest of everything is pure discrimination. Hence, it’s proven from the above data that this celebrated fruit tree has been known to the inhabitants of Indo Pak subcontinent since very early times.

8. The mango tree is discreetly associated with the history of agriculture in Pakistan and one of the earliest known proof of mango trees dated back to Indus Valley Civilization which flourished from around 3000-1500 BCE. It was the time when sugar was not yet known and inhabitants of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa used natural sweetening methods that mainly came from honey, dates and fruits such as Jamun and mango.

Mango, date palm, banana, guava, and orange are typical fruit-bearing trees cultivated in the Indus valley.

The botanical name of the mango tree

9. Its botanical name is Mangifera indica L. and is the most important species of the genus Mangifera, which produces the most delicious fruit called the mango.

The lustrous journey of mangoes from Aam- kay to manga

11. The mango tree is lucky to have its origin in South Asian countries because of its vast and splendid history but do you know in its native countries, this fruit tree is not known as mango but as aamra or aam. There is no doubt about that the original name of the mango tree is quite different from the one that is spoken now.

12.The earliest known name given to the mango tree was Amra as cited in Dharmashastra and mango fruit is known in those ancient times as Amra-Phalam.

13. This tree is mentioned in old Sanskrit as bearing good fruits. These domestic trees were planted in and near villages by the rulers of those ancient empires.

14.The mango tree was also present at the time of Indus valley civilization and used as an alternative of sugar.

15. Starting from the Urdu speaking regions, it is widely acknowledged as Aam ka darakht (the mango tree).

16. In Northern and Southern regions of Punjab (Pakistan) where Urdu and Punjabi are the well-spoken languages, the tree is called aam ka darakht or mango fruit is equivalent to aam ka phal.

17. The tree then migrated to the other side of the border on the southern plains of India where predominantly Hindi, Punjabi and Tamil languages further altered the names of mango in the form of aam, ambha, Amra, respectively.

18. In Hindi language, it is also known as aam and fruit is aam-phal.

19. In the Tamil language, the kaay word is used instead of phal. So, with the diversity in spoken languages, aam phal is referred to as aam kaay.

20. Aam-kaay gradually transformed into man-kaay or maam-kaay owing to the differences in pronunciation and because of use of different accents.

21. Man-kaay is a Dravidian word which is also understood as one of the oldest known languages of South Asia. Man means mango tree and kaay word is used for fruit.

22. Now comes the Malayalam language which plays a substantial role in reshaping the name of aam to its modern form.

The Malayali people further changed this name mamkay or mangai to Maanga.

23.The mangoes were undoubtedly introduced to the modern world by the Portuguese on their arrival to Kerala, India.

24. The mango fruit was not known to Europeans until the arrival of the Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama in 1498 in Calicut, a port town in the Malabar coast of Kerala, India.

25. It was the untiring efforts of Portuguese who then adopted the Malayalam word maanga in Portuguese and introduced it to the rest of the world. How? Now here comes an interesting anecdote that I have heard about a long time ago.

26. The story goes like that one of the Portuguese who landed in Calicut happened to write to his British friend and boasted that they have found a new fruit in India which is known as manga. It was those golden days when the letter was written by hand and the typewriter was not invented at that time. The British friend out of curiosity read the name as mango, not by mistake at all. Most of the Portuguese words ended in “o” such as avocado, potato, tomato, tobacco and so on. Therefore, this is how the word mango entered the English dictionary.

27. The French variation of this name is mangue.

28. The European countries were introduced to this fruit during their spice trade with Indo Pak subcontinent in the 15th and 16th centuries.

29. It was the crucial stage in the history of mangoes in regard to the popularity of these trees. How?

It was in the Mughal era that the Portuguese are said to introduce vegetative propagation methods in India for the first time to clone superior mono-embryonic trees in the 15th Century.

Who is the first person to bring the mango to the attention of the ancient world?

30. Hsüan-Tsang appears to be the first person to bring the mango to the notice of people outside India.

Megasthenes and Hsiun-Tsang, the earliest writer-travellers to ancient India, wrote about how the ancient Indian kings, notably the Mauryas, planted mango trees along roadsides and highways as a symbol of prosperity.

They also wrote about the incredible taste of the fruit, bringing the mango to the notice of people outside India. 

The custom of bestowing titles

31. In ancient India, there was a custom of the ruling class to bestow titles on prominent people by using names of mango varieties.



Thank you for reading.


Lovers of pine

Lovers of pine is a Japanese folktale about two lovers that become two young pine trees by sitting under a shade of an old pine tree.



It happened in ancient times when the capital of Japan was still the city of Nara. (Nara, located around 30 km south of modern Kyoto, was the capital of ancient Japan between 710 and 784 CE.)

There lived a young man named Iratsuko and a girl named Iratsume. They were both very beautiful people which caused many people to gossip about them.

“It would be good if the Iratsuko and Iratsume fell in love,” people would say.

But the two of them didn’t notice each other at all. Iratsuko heard what people were saying but he only waved his hand while Iratsume only smiled as she continued on her way.

One evening while the people of the village were staging a big celebration they gathered in the forest glade and began to sing, dance and compose poems.

Then the young man approached Iratsume.

“Turn to look at me,” he asked her. “You are beautiful, like a young pine. Give me some sign that you love me.”

“Do not befit me to listen to such speeches,” she said blushing. “I confess however that I have loved you for a long time. People noticed us, which lead to conversations which in turn made me curious.”

Then everyone began to eavesdrop on their conversation.

“When are you going to be married?” the people called.

“Leave us in peace. Do not look at us, do not touch us” Iratsuko said with anger as he grabbed the girl by the hand and ran into the forest.

“It’s not like we hurt them,” the people said shaking their head. “We were just happy at their good fortune in finding each other at last.”

The two lovers ran into the woods and sat down under an old pine tree.

“Those people never give you a moment’s peace,” Iratsuko snarled.

“It’s true, people are forever sticking their noses into others business,” Iratsume agreed.

It was dark and quite, with only the moon in the sky for light and the gentle sound of the leaves falling from the trees. The two of them sat up all night by the old pine and didn’t notice that morning had come. When the sun rose over the mountain they looked around, they could hear roosters in the distance and a dog barking.

“Let’s go back to the village,” Iratsuko said, but as he tried to rise he found that he was rooted to the ground.

“I’ll help you!” Iratsume exclaimed, but her feet were rooted to the ground as well.

“What’s happened to us!?” the two lovers exclaimed in surprise.

Meanwhile the rest of the villagers came into the forest to search for Irasuko and Iratsume. And lo and behold at the edge of the woods they found two young pine trees. The people gasped when they saw these pines.

“Look, look! It’s Iratsuko and Iratsume. They have turned into pine trees,” the people cried.

Iratsume and Iratsuko heard this and grew frightened for they realized that they must surely have become pine trees.  So they were now two pine trees at the edge of the forest. Sometimes farmers come into the woods and sit under them while asking, “How are you my pretty Iratsume? And is Iratsuko feeling well?”

That’s when the pine creaks and the pines wave and the tree seems to say. “Again you break our peace! We get no salvation from you. Do not look at us, do not touch us.”

So the farmers sigh and eventually go away. So the pine Iratsume is called “do not look at me,” and the pine Iratsuko is called, “do not touch me.”



Source:

Japanese Fairy Tale

THE BOASTFUL BAMBOO

A folklore from Fuji

Beneath the gleaming snows of Fuji lay a great forest.

There many giant trees grew, the fir, the pine, the graceful bamboo, and the camellia trees.

The balmy azaleas and the crinkled iris bloomed in the shade.

The blue heavens were fleecy with snowy clouds, and gentle zephyrs caressed the blossoms and made them bow like worshipers before a shrine.

Side by side there grew two bamboo trees.

One of these was tall, strong, and stately; and he reared his haughty head to heaven and bowed not to the North Wind as he passed.

The other was a slender bamboo, so slight and delicate that it swayed with every breeze, and moaned with fright when a storm swept down the wrath of the mountain.

The children loved the graceful bamboo, and named her Silver Mist; but the big bamboo looked down upon her with scorn.

“You bend and bow to every breeze. Have you no pride? It is not fitting that a bamboo should show fear. I stand straight and strong and bow to no one,” he said.

“You are going to be of some great use in the world, I am sure,” said the humble bamboo. I am only fit to trim the houses for the New Year’s feast. But you will become a beam in some great house or, maybe, even in a palace.”

“Do not think I shall be only that,” cried the boastful bamboo with a scornful laugh. “I am indeed intended for something great. I think I shall be chosen for the mast of a mighty ship. Then will the wings of the ship swell with the breeze, and it will fly over the ocean and I shall see strange lands and new peoples.

All men will behold me and will say, ‘See the stately bamboo which graces yonder junk!’ As for you, poor timorous one, you are not even brave enough to deck the New Year’s feast. You will be used to make mats for people to tread under foot.

The slim little bamboo did not answer back. 

She only bent her head and cried bitterly. The flowers felt sorry for her and breathed their soft perfume about her to comfort her.


As the days went by the slim bamboo grew prettier, and the children loved her more and more. They played beneath her waving branches, they made flower chains and garlands and hung them from her boughs.

“See,” they cried in childish glee. “This is the Lady Silver Mist. Let us tie a flower around her slender waist;” and they bound a girdle of flowers about her.


One day there came woodmen to the forest, and they chopped down many of the trees, trampling the grass and the flowers under foot.

When they saw the big bamboo they said,

“Here is a tall, straight tree. It will do for a mast. We will cut it first.”

“Good-by,” said the boastful bamboo to the slender one.

“I am going to see the world and do great things. Good-by, child, I hope you will not be used to make rain coats.

When I am on the bright and beautiful sea I shall remember and pity you!”

“Good-by,” sighed his little comrade. “Good fortune go with you.”

The big bamboo was cut down, and the hillside saw him no more.

When, however, the woodmen came to the little tree, they smiled to see it so beautifully garlanded with flowers and they said,

“This little tree has friends.”

Then the children took courage and ran to the woodcutters and cried,

“Pray do not cut down our tree! In all the forest we love it best. It is the Lady Silver Mist and it has been our playmate for many moons.”

“You must dig it up and bear it away if you wish to save its life,” said the chief woodman. “We are sent to this forest to clear it, so that a grand palace may be built upon the hillside where all is so fair and beautiful.”

“Gladly will we root her up and take her to our home,” answered the eldest child; and very carefully they dug her up, not destroying even a single root, for the woodman helped them, so kind was he and of a good heart.


They placed the slim bamboo in a lovely garden beside the sea, and she grew fair and stately and was happy. All around was calm and beautiful.

The sea waves lapped the coral strand. By day, the sun shone on the tawny sands and turned them to gold; the sky was blue as a turquoise, and pearly clouds floated across it like shadowy angel’s wings.

By night the moon goddess rose in silvery beauty and bathed the garden in light; it kissed the leaves of the bamboo, until the dew sparkled upon them like diamonds in a setting of silver.

Fragrant flowers bloomed at the bamboo’s feet: irises from their meadow home, azaleas, rare lotus lilies, and a fringe of purple wistaria wafting its breath in friendship upon her.

Here she grew in strength and grace. All things were her friends, for she gave to all of her sweetness; and to the winds she bowed her head.

“Great North Wind,” she said gently, “how thou art strong!” And to the South Wind she said, “How sweet and kind thou art!” To the flowers she gave shade and to the children, who still loved her, companionship.

 


One night she shivered and bowed her head very, very low, for there came a storm from the sea, a storm so fierce and wild as to frighten her very soul.

The waves of the sea tossed the white foam heavenward; they rose up in giant walls of fury until ships sunk in the troughs between and were dashed to pieces.

The beach was strewn with wrecks, and when daylight came, Lady Silver Mist gazed upon the scene.

She recognized her old friend, the great bamboo, prostrate upon the ground, while all around him lay bits of the junk over which he had reared his haughty head.

“Alas! my poor friend!” she cried. “What a sad fate is yours! Would that I could aid you.”

“No one can help me,” he replied with a moan. “Would that I had been made into a common coolie pole with which to push a country junk!

Then might I have been useful for many years! No, my heart is broken, Silver Mist. Farewell.”

He gave a long shuddering sigh and spoke no more. Soon some men who came to clear up the wreckage, chopped the mast up for firewood; and that was the end of the boastful bamboo.


Source:

Japanese Fairy Tales

8 Amazing Facts About The Angel Oak Tree

1. The Angel Oak Tree is located on St. John’s Island, South Carolina, and is one of the state’s most visited landmarks.

2. It is said that the Southern Live Oak could be one of the oldest living things east of the Mississippi coming in at over 500 years old!

3. The tree is estimated to be 400–500 years old.

4. The Angel Oak Tree derives its name from the estate of Justus Angel and his wife, Martha Waight Tucker Angel.

5. Local folklore tells stories of ghosts of former slaves appearing as angels around the tree.

6. Angel Oak was damaged severely during Hurricane Hugo in 1989 but has since recovered.

7. The City of Charleston has owned the tree and surrounding park since 1991.

8. The Angel Oak features prominently in the book The Heart of A Child by Emily Nelson.

Source:

History of angel oak tree

Everything you need to know about angel oak tree

Tree quote: Learn character from trees

Tree quote

Learn character from trees, values from roots, and change from leaves.

by Tasneem Hameed

Happy reading.

A billboard lovely as a tree

A quote about trees by Ogden Nash

“I think that I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree.
Perhaps, unless the billboards fall,
I’ll never see a tree at all.”
–   Ogden Nash, Song of the Open Road, 1933    

Thank you for reading.

Quotes about understanding the wisdom of trees

Understanding the mother earth is the most challenging thing a person can endure in today’s world. To early man, trees were objects of awe and wonder. Perhaps, this is the reason for worshipping them. The mystery of their growth, the movement of their leaves and branches, the way they seemed to die and come again to life in spring used to the marvel of nature. The sudden growth of the plant from the seed – all these considered being miracles as indeed.


15 inspiring quotes on trees

Here is the compilation of some inspiring quotes about understanding the true meaning of planting trees in your vicinity.


1.The best friend on earth of man is the tree: when we use the tree respectfully and economically we have one of the greatest resources of the earth.”
– Frank Lloyd Wright


2. “A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit.”
– Elton Trueblood (1900-1994)


3. “I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast”
– Joyce Kilmer, Trees


4. “We must protect the forests for our children, grandchildren and children yet to be born. We must protect the forests for those who can’t speak for themselves such as the birds, animals, fish and trees.”
– Chief Edward Moody, Qwatsinas, Nuxalk Nation


5. “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
– Warren Buffett


6. “Approaching a tree we approach a sacred being who can teach us about love and about endless giving. She is one of millions of beings who provide our air, our homes, our fuel, our books. Working with the spirit of the tree can bring us renewed energy, powerful inspiration, deep communion.”

– Druid Tree Lore, Ovate Grade lecture


7. “Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees.”
– Karle Wilson Baker


8. “Let the trees be consulted before you take any action
every time you breathe in thank a tree
let tree roots crack parking lots at the world bank headquarters
let loggers be druids specially trained and rewarded
to sacrifice trees at auspicious times
let carpenters be master artisans
let lumber be treasured like gold
let chainsaws be played like saxophones
let soldiers on maneuvers plant trees give police and criminals a shovel
and a thousand seedlings
let businessmen carry pocketfuls of acorns
let newlyweds honeymoon in the woods
walk don’t drive
stop reading newspapers
stop writing poetry
squat under a tree and tell stories.”

– John Wright


9. “A tree uses what comes its way to nurture itself. By sinking its roots deeply into the earth, by accepting the rain that flows towards it, by reaching out to the sun, the tree perfects its character and becomes great. … Absorb, absorb, absorb. That is the secret of the tree.”

– Deng Ming-Dao, Everyday Tao, 1996, p. 18.


10. “What does he plant who plants a tree?
He plants the friend of sun and sky;
He plants the flag of breezes free;
The shaft of beauty, towering high;
He plants a home to heaven anigh
For song and mother-croon of bird
In hushed and happy twilight heard –
The treble of heaven’s harmony
These things he plants who plants a tree.”

– Henry Cuyler Bunner, The Heart of the Tree


11. “Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth.”

– Herman Hesse


12. “The poetry of the earth is never dead.”
–  John Keats 


13. “A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.”

– Franklin D. Roosevelt


14. “I refuse to have an emotional attachment to a piece of ground. At one end of the scale it’s called patriotism, at the other end of the scale it’s called gardening.” – Bob Shaw
15. “If a tree dies, plant another in its place.”
– Linnaeus  

Happy reading to you! You can participate here by sharing your favourite quote about trees here as well.

A doorway to a new world

“Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.”

― John Muir


Five common facts about Pines

1. The pine is a modern English name derived from the Latin word pinus. Before the 19th century, pines were often referred to as firs.

2. Pines are long-lived and typically reach ages of 100–1,000 years, some even more.

3. The longest-lived Pine tree is the Great Basin bristlecone pine, Pinus longaeva.

4. Pine trees are evergreen, coniferous resinous trees.

5. Pines are often featured in art, painting and fine art, drawing, photography, or folk art.


Thank you for reading.

Keeping an appointment with a beech tree

A quote about trees by Henry David.

“I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech-tree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines.”
–  Henry David Thoreau,  1817 – 1862  

Thank you for reading.

The oldest living thing

 

“The oldest living thing in existence is not a giant redwood, but a bristlecone pine in the White Mountains of California, dated to be aged 4,600 years old.”

–  Plants and Botany Trivia 

 

The tree which is known as the god of fire

 Tree profile:

    Common Names: Coral tree, Indian Coral tree
    Scientific Names: Butea monosperma, Butea frondosa, Erythrina monosperma
    Family: Fabaceae
    Subfamily: Faboideae
    Local Names: Flame of the Forest, Dhak, Palas, Bastard Teak, Parrot Tree, kesu, gule nishter
    Origin: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
    Plant Characteristics: Woody. No latex, aromatic flowers, (Trifoliate) Compound leaves, have alternate arrangements of leaves.

An interesting introduction to the Coral tree  (Dhaak/ Palash tree)

You may or may not know me but I am a tree native to tropical and subtropical regions of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Srilanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, to name a few ones.

People of these countries adore me so much that they love to call me by different names in their local languages and dialects.

I am a small-sized dry season, deciduous tree. It simply means that I can shed my leaves when the autumn dawns. I can grow up to 15 m (49 ft) tall. I admire my striking height. Though I limped sometimes.

Scientifically, I am known as Butea monosperma throughout the world as it is my botanical name. I am also described in some textbooks as Butea frondosa so please don’t get confused if someone mentions me by this name. It’s my synonym.

I have so many related names but for the lack of time, I would like to mention a  few of them to keep the momentum going. I have compiled a list of some of my favorites.

In English speaking countries, I am known as bastard teak or parrot tree.

In the Hindi language, I am entitled to be known as chichra tasu, desuka, Palash, chalcha, Kankrei, etc.

 

To begin with,  I am widely acknowledged as the flame of the forest or flame tree because of my vibrant personality. It’s an interesting read. I am prized for my flowers which take on a fascinating look in late spring due to the orange-red hue of my flowers.

For this reason, I am symbolized as the color of love in South Asian cultures and also known to be assumed as a first sign for the arrival of spring.

Notoriously, I am recognized as the bastard teak because of my striking resemblance with the teak tree in having the same features such as hard durable wood.

Where am I located? I am currently blooming proudly in the salt ranges of Pakistan. Here, I am locally known as Chahchra or Dhaak.

This image is taken from Dawn.com

 

I possess the ability to endure elevated amounts of salt in the soil and withstand extreme changes in weather. Hence, I am widely distributed in the salt ranges of Pakistan or can also be seen growing easily in coastal areas of my country.

Palash (which means a flowering tree) is another splendid name that has become my recognition in my neighbor country. They even named their newborn baby boys with my name to show their affection for me. I feel so honored and blessed.

Some say the town of Palashi in West Bengal adopts its name from the Palash tree. (Note: The town was famous for the historic battle of Plassey fought there). What a great way to tribute this tree!

A parrot tree is another pleasant name that is bestowed on me. I am so intricately designed that my stunning orange-red flowers appear before the leaves. Each flower consists of five petals comprising one standard, two smaller wings, and a very curved beak-shaped keel. It is this beak-shaped keel that lends me the name of Parrot Tree.

 

You might have heard of that popular Urdu proverb, “dhaak k teen paat” which comes from the prominent three leaflets shape of this tree.  The phrase means efforts leading to no results.

Despite being known as a prized tree by nature enthusiasts or Hakeem, I receive little interest from the general public.

Fated to be named as the flame of the forest, I am now mostly regarded as an ornamental tree.

The reason for the decline of these trees in rural areas is because the inhabitants here do not prefer to plant new saplings of these species. After all, they considered these trees to be slow-growing.

Sadly, a little has been done to preserve this magnificent tree. It was known to thrive in abundance in the salt ranges of Kohistan.  But now the number has been dramatically decreased with time due to the constant need for its wood to use as fuel.

This tree is humbly requesting you to craft ways to protect it from vanishing from its beloved country.

How can we protect the Dhak tree from extinction?

It has been real injustice to this kind of tree. It grows even on dead mountains, does so well in salty soils, and proves to be an incredible host to lac Insects.

Now, it’s time to give the due credit and affection to these Dhak trees.


Here are some ways to conserve this tree for future generations to come.

1. Write more about native trees/ Awareness plays a critical role in the protection of native trees.

2. Plant new saplings of this species.

3. Be a nature enthusiast. Or be a tree enthusiast to be more precise.

4. Come and visit this tree when it is naturally blooming in the spring season.

5. Go to your local nursery and obtain information about this tree.


Fast five medicinal uses about Butea monosperma

1. It is a potent astringent used in the treatment of diarrhea.

2. The seeds of Butea monosperma when mixed into a paste with honey are used for their antihelmintic, antifungal, anti-bacterial properties.

3. The seeds contain about 18% oil. Known as moodoga oil which is an effective treatment for hookworms.

4. The flowers of this tree are used in the treatment of liver disorders.

5. The flowers contain butrin and isobutrin. These combinations have been shown to have antihepatotoxic properties.


Precautions should be taken to use these herbal medicines. Don’t use these products on your own or without legal permission from authorized personnel.

The “medicinal uses” mentioned here is only for general knowledge.  Not to be applied practically without legal authorization or without being approved from the concerned field.


Thank you for reading and highlighting my work. I frequently write for trees and think about them in my happy time. Please visit my blog and do comment on my posts for offering me a little dose of encouragement that I rarely receive.


This post is originally shared on Medium. Visit this link to read more about tree stories.


Why Write For Trees?

I love encouraging people to write for trees. And there is only one valid reason for writing about trees is that they reconnect us with nature.

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After nourishment, protection, and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world. Philip Pullman.

We tend to facilitate each other through the art of storytelling. So, what happens when we don’t tell stories? We die or simply lose interest in a story when it didn’t take us to an interesting place.

Trees reconnect us with nature. The problem that happened in today’s world is that we have lost the mindset of respecting trees, let alone tell stories about them.

Do you ever wonder, how can we respect trees?

It is the same as hugging a tree or not harming them in any physical way possible.

Unfortunately, trees are no longer viewed as the precious heritage of mankind.

In ancient times, there was the concept of growing trees near roadsides, or around the cottage to bring prosperity and wealth to the local community.

This credit of loving trees goes to our ancestors because of their undying respect for this planet on which we are currently living.

They displayed a tremendous amount of wisdom for trees that we don’t have. They respect trees by worshipping them. They respect trees by planting them in abundance wherever they go. They respect trees by documenting them. They respect trees by praising them and the list goes on.

A change in mindset is needed to preserve our native trees otherwise we will keep losing these trees just for our materialistic gains.

If you want to tell interesting stories about trees then the first thing you have to do is to give them due respect and credit. Here, are 14 incredible reasons why we should respect trees and adore them.

14 incredible reasons to respect trees

1. Trees play a vital role in capturing rainwater

Trees play a vital role in capturing rainwater and decreasing the risk of natural disasters like floods and landslides.

2. Trees communicate with each other

Trees communicate with each other and shared nutrients through an intricate underground web of fungi.

3. Old vs New

Scientists have found that older trees share nutrients with younger trees, which later repay them when they have evolved.

4. A mature evergreen tree

Do you know a mature evergreen tree can stop more than 15,000 liters of water every year?

5. An incredible fact about trees

It’s not a myth but an incredible fact that hospital patients with rooms close to trees happened to recover faster than those without the same view with trees.

6. Reduce stress and anxiety by connecting with trees

Trees help reduce stress and anxiety when we walk through a calm, quiet forest with a stream passing nearby.

7. Native trees help stabilize the environment

Native trees help us reconnect with nature. This is an amazing reason to love trees. Protect native trees by not cutting them down.

8. Keep alive the art of storytelling through trees

Trees have long been interlinked with the art of storytelling. Keep old ways alive by telling tales about trees.

9. An ideal backrest for reading

Trees provide the ideal backrest for reading a book or a magazine.

10. Native trees purify the air

Native trees purify the air we breathe. New research indicates that planting non-native trees hasten the rate of carbon released into the atmosphere. This is why I am in favor of planting native trees.

11. Native trees filter the water

Native trees filter the water we drink.

12. Native trees support us

Native trees take longer to grow since their tissue is denser, but they support a wide range of fauna and flora in the community.

13. Trees are an integral part of our food chain

Most native trees are also fruit-bearing and form an integral part of the food, culture, and customs of the region.

14. The history and mythology of the world revolved around trees

The history and mythology related to trees had inspired works of fiction for thousands of years. (I have read somewhere that Sara Maitland in her fascinating book, Gossip from the Forest, proposes that in ancient times the forests were both the background and the source of fairytales. Because of their mysterious secrets and silences, gifts and threats, forests were regarded as the background plot for stories such as Little red riding hood, Hansel and Gretel, and the seven dwarves)


Thank you for reading and highlighting my work. I frequently write for trees and think about them in my happy time. Please visit my blog and do comment on my posts for giving me a little dose of encouragement that I rarely receive.


Folk remedies associated with Peepal leaves

Health benefits of the peepal leaves

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1. Peepal leaves are good for the relieve of stomach pain

  • Make a paste of 2.5 leaves of a peepal tree
  • Mix it with 50 grams of jaggery
  • Make small tablets of the mixture
  • Take it 3-4 times a day. It will alleviate stomach pain.


2. Peepal leaves are an ideal antidote for snake bite

In case of a snake bite

  • Make 2-2 spoons of the extracts of Peepal leaves
  • Give three to four times to lessen the impact of the poison


3. Peepal leaves are good for skin diseases

  • Eat the soft leaves of Peepal and it will reduce the itching
  • Taking 40 ml of tea of this leaf is equally beneficial.

4. Peepal leaves is good for Cracked Heels

  • Apply Peepal leaf extracts or its milk on cracked hands and heels to get the best outcomes.


5. Peepal leaves is good for general eye care

  • Take the milk of the peepal leaves.
  • Apply gently on the eye. It will cure eye discomforts.

6. Peepal leaves fights off free radicals

  • Given the potent injurious capacity of free radicals, it is not surprising that all cells possess a variety of mechanisms to defuse these molecules.
  • Consuming peepal tea can counteract free radicals caused by various factors as can be seen in metabolic cell injury.
  • The antioxidant activity of the aqueous extract of the peepal tree is reported containing tannins, flavonoids, and polyphenols. At high doses of aqueous extract of peepal tree has been shown to fight free radicals.

Myth or a fact?

I considered it a myth that cutting the Peepal tree can cause problems in married life and children may have to face difficulties soon.

It is a popular belief in the countryside that cutting the Peepal tree gives pain to the ancestor if they are grown near graveyards.


7. Peepal leaves boost immunity system

Peepal leaves boost immunity in so many different levels mainly depends upon the nutritional contents. The detailed analysis of the nutritional composition of peepal leaves tells us about a fascinating story of how well it is composed to enhance our immune system.


A brief list of nutritional contents of 100 grams of peepal leaves. It contains

• 1041 kJ of energy

• 63.9 Carbohydrates

• 47.9 Sugars

• 9.8 g of dietary fiber

• 0.93 g of fat

• 3.3 g of protein

• 1 micrograms of vitamin A

• 0.085 mg thiamine (B1)

• 0.082 mg of riboflavin (B2)

• 0.62 mg of niacin (B3)

• 0.43 mg of pantothenic acid (B5)

• 0.11 mg of vitamin B6

• 9 μg of folate (B9)

• 1 mg of vitamin C

• 0.35 mg of vitamin E

• 15.6 μg of vitamin K

• 162 calcium

• 2 mg of iron

• 68 mg of magnesium

• 0.51 mg of manganese

• 67 mg of phosphorus

• 680 mg of potassium

• 10 mg of sodium

• 0.55 mg of zinc


8. Peepal leaves is good for bleeding diarrhea

Take soft strains of

  • peepal,
  • coriander seeds,
  • crystal sugar in equal amounts

and mix well and take it 3-4 grams twice a day as this is very useful in this disease.


9. Peepal leaves for poor appetite

Take ripe fruits and leaves of Peepal tree. Because of the iron content in the peepal leaves, it is ideal herbal medicine to get rid of poor appetite and weight loss.


10. Peepal leaves for asthma

Asthma is a condition in which the airways narrow and swell and may produce extra mucus. This can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, a whistling sound (wheezing) when you breathe out, and shortness of breath.

The leaves, bark, and fruits of the Peepal tree are incredibly effective in the treatment of asthma.

Make a powder of the bark and fruits separately and then mix them in equal quantities. Consume this mixture thrice a day for relief.

  • Take the bark of a plant and its mature fruits.
  • Make their powder separately and mix them in equal amounts.
  • Consume the mixture, thrice a day for better results.

11. Peepal leaves for Eczema itching

  • Take 50 g of peepal bark ash and add lime and ghee thoroughly and make the paste mixture.
  • Apply this paste in the eczema-prone areas and it will bring soothing effects immediately.
  • Take 40 ml tea of the peepal bark regularly and it will benefit you soon.


Go to your doctor

It’s time to get medical or professional help

• If you have severe belly pain or the pain lasts several days

• If you have nausea and fever and can’t keep food down for several days

• If you have bloody stools

• If it hurts to pee

• If you have blood in your urine

• If you cannot pass stools, especially if you’re also vomiting

• If you had an injury to your belly in the days before the pain started

• If you have heartburn that doesn’t get better with over-the-counter drugs or lasts longer than 2 weeks


Thank you for reading and highlighting my work. I frequently write for trees and think about them in my happy time. Please visit my blog and do comment on my posts for giving me a little dose of encouragement that I rarely receive.


29 interesting facts about Shajarat al-Hayah (Tree of life)

“As the poet said, “only God can make a tree,”
probably because it’s so hard to figure out
how to get the bark on.”

– Woody Allen

1. A lonely tree

There is a tree alone in the middle of a desert in Bahrain, that legitimately stands with its roots deep in the sand.

2. The time forgotten story of Shajarat al Hayah

This tree is locally known to us as the “Shajarat al-Hayah” and its alternative name in English is ” The Tree of Life”.

No one expected this tree to live or survive for such a long period of time, yet it has through God’s Will.

3. The king of desert

The Tree of Life in Bahrain is almost 9.75 meters (32 feet) high. It is called Shajarat al Hayat in its native Arabic language.

It has gone on thriving with the ideal height of 32 feet in the extreme temperatures and lack of freshwater resources. This is why it is known as the king of desert in many parts of the world.

4. It is over 400 years old

It is a Prosopis cineraria tree that is over 400 years old. 

It is an evergreen tree that can grow very well in a harsh climate and is well adapted to arid conditions.

5. It’s roots are 50 meters deep

Its roots are 50 meters deep, which is more than enough to reach the water.

6. The well-developed root system

The root system of this tree is long, deep and well developed, securing a firm footing and allowing it to obtain moisture from the groundwater.

7. It is a Mesquite tree

Its a mesquite tree. They may have one or multiple trunks with a multitude of branches. Its leaves are full of color with a green tint and it is remarkable for being existing for so long.

As one person explained,

“The reason people think its beautiful is because it has no right to be there.”

8. A Hardy, drought-tolerant tree

If we study the properties of this tree to understand it more comprehensively then it is quite evident that this is an extremely hardy, drought-tolerant tree because of its remarkable ability to draw water from the water table through its long taproot system.

9. Availability of water

However, it can also use water in the upper part of the ground, depending upon availability.

10. Ability to switch water resources

The tree can easily and rapidly switch from utilizing one water source to the other.

11. Native trees can grow rapidly and quickly

Mesquite trees can grow quickly and furnish shade and wildlife habitat where other trees will not grow.

12. Regeneration ability

It is also said that such a tree can even regenerate from a piece of root left in the soil.

13. A magical green spot in the desert

This tree of life is surrounded by the sea endless oilfields, and if you witness it from a distance then it appears like a magical green spot in the desert.

14. Low hanging branches to withstand hot winds and dry seasons

The tree has several low hanging branches that spread out in all directions as you can notice from various pictures of this tree. Why it is so? To easily withstand hot winds & dry seasons and shows considerable drought hardiness. 

15. It stabilizes shifting sand dunes

Because of its extensive root system, it stabilizes shifting sand dunes and is also useful as a wind-break. 

16. Folk remedies and uses of this border

It yields pale to yellow colored resin with properties similar to that of gum acacias and can be extracted which is used to make candles and aromatic gums and the seeds of this tree are processed into jams.

 17. Boosting tourism to its peak

It has gradually become a local tourist attraction and is visited by thousands of travelers every year.  

If you want to know why “the tree of life” is still surviving all alone in this oddity. Read more.

18. It is claimed that the closest water resource is about 2 kilometers away

There are many theories regarding how this tree is surviving in isolation with not any close companion. Some scientists claim that it is surviving because of the closest water source is an underground stream about 2 kilometers away.

19. By absorbing moisture from the surrounding

Others assume that it gets its water supply from the breezes from the Persian Gulf. By absorbing moisture from the surrounding.

20. Extracting water from the grains of sand

There is another claim which suggests that it has learned how to extract water from grains of sand. Quite possible.

21. It has a symbiotic relationship with nitrogen fixing bacteria

It has a symbiotic relationship with some bacteria that allow it to fix nitrogen in the soil. Hence, improving soil fertility and quality.

22. This area was once considered as the Garden of Eden

According to local inhabitants, there is a belief that this area was once considered as the Garden of Eden. And this myth verifies how the ancient inhabitants started naming it as the tree of life.

23. It is claimed that this tree is protected by Enki, known as a god of water

There are also some decorative beliefs revolving around this Tree of Life. One of them says that the area was once the Garden of Eden, and the tree is growing by some mystical blessing. It is also claimed that it is protected by Enki, a god of water according to the Babylonian and Sumerian religions.

24. This tree was nominated for the New Seven Wonders of Nature

In 2009, the tree was nominated for the New seven wonders of Nature list, but it did not make it to the final.

25. Recently, 500 years old pottery was discovered in the vicinity of the tree

In October 2010, archaeologists unearthed 500-year-old pottery and other artifacts near proximity of the tree.

26. The tree of life was an Acacia planted in 1582

A soil and dendrochronology investigation accomplished in the 1990s concluded that the tree was from the family of Acacia which was planted in 1582.

27. Estimating the age of tree by ring analysis

A soil and tree ring analysis conducted now more than 20 years ago. It was made possible by historian Dr. Ali Akbar Bushiri who concluded that the Tree of Life was planted in 1582 AD.

28. It was Fenced off in 2007

It was fenced off in 2007 after being targeted by vandals. An iron fence has been put around to protect the tree from being worshipped as it is considered sacred for being rumored as to be linked to the Garden of Eden.

29. Bearing the marks of ancient civilization and the wrath of a new era

The tree bears marks of graffiti and extensive damage has been done to it’s branches by vandals and youngsters who carve love messages on it’s trunk to immortalized their love as well.

29 interesting facts about Shajarat al-Hayah (Tree of life)

“As the poet said, “only God can make a tree,”
probably because it’s so hard to figure out
how to get the bark on.”

– Woody Allen

1. A lonely tree

There is a tree alone in the middle of a desert in Bahrain, that legitimately stands with its roots deep in the sand.

2. The time forgotten story of Shajarat al Hayah

This tree is locally known to us as the “Shajarat al-Hayah” and its alternative name in English is ” The Tree of Life”.

No one expected this tree to live or survive for such a long period of time, yet it has through God’s Will.

3. The king of desert

The Tree of Life in Bahrain is almost 9.75 meters (32 feet) high. It is called Shajarat al Hayat in its native Arabic language.

It has gone on thriving with the ideal height of 32 feet in the extreme temperatures and lack of freshwater resources. This is why it is known as the king of desert in many parts of the world.

4. It is over 400 years old

It is a Prosopis cineraria tree that is over 400 years old. 

It is an evergreen tree that can grow very well in a harsh climate and is well adapted to arid conditions.

5. It’s roots are 50 meters deep

Its roots are 50 meters deep, which is more than enough to reach the water.

6. The well-developed root system

The root system of this tree is long, deep and well developed, securing a firm footing and allowing it to obtain moisture from the groundwater.

7. It is a Mesquite tree

Its a mesquite tree. They may have one or multiple trunks with a multitude of branches. Its leaves are full of color with a green tint and it is remarkable for being existing for so long.

As one person explained,

“The reason people think its beautiful is because it has no right to be there.”

8. A Hardy, drought-tolerant tree

If we study the properties of this tree to understand it more comprehensively then it is quite evident that this is an extremely hardy, drought-tolerant tree because of its remarkable ability to draw water from the water table through its long taproot system.

9. Availability of water

However, it can also use water in the upper part of the ground, depending upon availability.

10. Ability to switch water resources

The tree can easily and rapidly switch from utilizing one water source to the other.

11. Native trees can grow rapidly and quickly

Mesquite trees can grow quickly and furnish shade and wildlife habitat where other trees will not grow.

12. Regeneration ability

It is also said that such a tree can even regenerate from a piece of root left in the soil.

13. A magical green spot in the desert

This tree of life is surrounded by the sea endless oilfields, and if you witness it from a distance then it appears like a magical green spot in the desert.

14. Low hanging branches to withstand hot winds and dry seasons

The tree has several low hanging branches that spread out in all directions as you can notice from various pictures of this tree. Why it is so? To easily withstand hot winds & dry seasons and shows considerable drought hardiness. 

15. It stabilizes shifting sand dunes

Because of its extensive root system, it stabilizes shifting sand dunes and is also useful as a wind-break. 

16. Folk remedies and uses of this border

It yields pale to yellow colored resin with properties similar to that of gum acacias and can be extracted which is used to make candles and aromatic gums and the seeds of this tree are processed into jams.

 17. Boosting tourism to its peak

It has gradually become a local tourist attraction and is visited by thousands of travelers every year.  

If you want to know why “the tree of life” is still surviving all alone in this oddity. Read more.

18. It is claimed that the closest water resource is about 2 kilometers away

There are many theories regarding how this tree is surviving in isolation with not any close companion. Some scientists claim that it is surviving because of the closest water source is an underground stream about 2 kilometers away.

19. By absorbing moisture from the surrounding

Others assume that it gets its water supply from the breezes from the Persian Gulf. By absorbing moisture from the surrounding.

20. Extracting water from the grains of sand

There is another claim which suggests that it has learned how to extract water from grains of sand. Quite possible.

21. It has a symbiotic relationship with nitrogen fixing bacteria

It has a symbiotic relationship with some bacteria that allow it to fix nitrogen in the soil. Hence, improving soil fertility and quality.

22. This area was once considered as the Garden of Eden

According to local inhabitants, there is a belief that this area was once considered as the Garden of Eden. And this myth verifies how the ancient inhabitants started naming it as the tree of life.

23. It is claimed that this tree is protected by Enki, known as a god of water

There are also some decorative beliefs revolving around this Tree of Life. One of them says that the area was once the Garden of Eden, and the tree is growing by some mystical blessing. It is also claimed that it is protected by Enki, a god of water according to the Babylonian and Sumerian religions.

24. This tree was nominated for the New Seven Wonders of Nature

In 2009, the tree was nominated for the New seven wonders of Nature list, but it did not make it to the final.

25. Recently, 500 years old pottery was discovered in the vicinity of the tree

In October 2010, archaeologists unearthed 500-year-old pottery and other artifacts near proximity of the tree.

26. The tree of life was an Acacia planted in 1582

A soil and dendrochronology investigation accomplished in the 1990s concluded that the tree was from the family of Acacia which was planted in 1582.

27. Estimating the age of tree by ring analysis

A soil and tree ring analysis conducted now more than 20 years ago. It was made possible by historian Dr. Ali Akbar Bushiri who concluded that the Tree of Life was planted in 1582 AD.

28. It was Fenced off in 2007

It was fenced off in 2007 after being targeted by vandals. An iron fence has been put around to protect the tree from being worshipped as it is considered sacred for being rumored as to be linked to the Garden of Eden.

29. Bearing the marks of ancient civilization and the wrath of a new era

The tree bears marks of graffiti and extensive damage has been done to it’s branches by vandals and youngsters who carve love messages on it’s trunk to immortalized their love as well.


Thank you for reading and highlighting my work. I frequently write for trees and think about them in my happy time. Please visit my blog and do comment on my posts for giving me a little dose of encouragement that I rarely receive.


112 Amazing Facts and Quotes About Poplar Tree

Getting behind the trees physical and healing properties and understanding of practical qualities is the key to comprehend their unique character.

An esoteric study of trees in folklore and mythology is essential to understand them more extensively and clearly in order to obtain exclusive benefits from them.

By esoteric study, I suggest naturally gravitating towards the intellectual side of trees and appreciating their uniqueness and individuality to a great extent.

Poplar – A tree for temperance

Let’s know about the mythical meaning of Poplar tree in folklore and mythology by first emphasizing upon their geographical distribution and significance.

The accumulated global knowledge and information on the majestic Poplar trees have a tendency to fill many volumes.

Why poplar is known as a tree for temperance is because of the fact that it provides balance, peace, patience and moderation in everyone’s life.

In New England, Poplars were once considered as a “trash tree” because it is short-lived and not of much used. What is so special about this tree is its remarkable character as the Latin meaning of Populus is people or crowd or a multitude of trees as they usually grow in colonies.

Now let’s summarize the various characteristics of Poplar trees that made them so attractive and beneficial along with their historical meanings and findings in ancient scripts.

A Brief Introduction on Poplar Trees

1. It is the deciduous tree which means it is a flower producing tree from the family Salicaceae. They are wind-pollinated and have flowers that are on catkins.

2. The poplar tree is native to most of the temperate regions of the world.

3. The family Salicaceae is also commonly known around the world as the willow family.

It systematically comprises of 55 genera and 1,000 plus species of deciduous or evergreen shrubs and trees all across the world.

4. The Salicaceae family includes the willows, poplar, aspen trees and cottonwoods to be more certain.

5. There are over 30 different species of the Poplar tree throughout the world.

6. Poplars are best described as fast-growing trees because they grow best along the river-beds and water-rich areas of the world.

7. Poplars are fastigiated which means they grow upwards in a columnar fashion narrowing towards the top.

In other words, they have upright usually clustered branches.

8. The native poplar tree is dioecious which means male and female flowers are found on different individual trees

9. Poplar trees often grow quite tall with different varieties varying between 50 and 160 feet in height.

10. Do you know? Populus nigra or black Poplar trees grows up to 30m in height. The Latin meaning of Populus nigra is “People of the dark.” Interesting, no?

11. Poplar trees need sunny spaces to grow and expand properly.

12. The root systems of the Poplar tree is extremely vigorous and invasive, stretching up to 40 meters.

This means if they are planted in close proximity to houses or ceramic water pipes have the potential to damage the buildings and can break the underground pipes and drainage system.

13. Therefore, some municipalities have passed ordinances banning the planting of poplar trees because of their offensive behaviours.

Poplars and willows are aggressive invaders of disturbed sites, and in certain agricultural and forestry conditions, they are regarded as weeds.

14. Poplar trees prefer moist soil that is slightly acidic.

15. The life span of hybrid poplar trees is between 25 to 50 years. They are usually short-lived trees.

16. The hybrid poplar trees were first described as intercontinental hybrids in 1755 in France.

Now they are recognized as Euroamerican poplars around the world.

17. But it should also be kept in mind that some varieties of Poplars such as eastern cottonwoods generally live for 70 – 100 years old.

They have a tremendous potential to live for 200 to 400 years when provided ideal conditions.

18. The popularity and productivity of these hybrids led to a milestone in modern-day popular culture when the first controlled hybridization of poplar trees was successfully achieved by A. Henry in 1912.

Popular culture is that type of media that have mass accessibility and appeal.

19. Later, Stout and Schreiner began hybridizing poplars at the New York Botanical Garden, the USA in 1933.

Those productive hybrids were experimented worldwide and were introduced in many countries at that time.

Many of them displayed ‘hybrid vigour’, and some are still in use today. Hybrid vigour or heterosis is the term used for those trees that produce proper yields and so is crucial for global food security.

20. The pioneer works of Henry and Stout and Schreiner in 1933 spawned poplar hybridization programmes throughout the world, especially in Europe and Asia.

It is their untiring efforts that made hybrid poplar varieties popular everywhere.

21. Do you know the first formal research institute of poplar breeding and culture was founded in 1937 in Italy.

22. It was at that time in the history when the world was changing after World War 2 which also resulted in the increasing worldwide demand for wood products align with the rising world population growth hastened the spread of fast-growing poplar hybrids to all corners of the world, including China, Pakistan and India.

23. Do you know poplar trees are mostly grown as an ornamental tree in southern Europe or everywhere else in the world.

Do you know? The Lombardy poplar, for example, is the most widely used trees in ornamental landscape plantings throughout the world.

24. Taking care of poplar trees is also manageable as only slight pruning of ornamental poplar trees is needed once a year by removing any dead or diseased part from the tree.

25. Unfortunately, black poplar has gradually become a declining species in the Uk but it is estimated that they still grow well and generously in damp areas, near canals and floodplains.

26. In South Asian countries, Populus deltoids which are also commonly known as Cottonwoods can be planted exclusively near waterlogged areas, along the canals, and as roads defence embankments.

Deltoides means triangular, referring to the leaf shape.

27. Most Poplar trees make cotton (hence, the name cottonwoods) but it is only the female trees that produce it.

Female trees produce a capsule which eventually splits open to disperse numerous small seeds usually attached to cotton-like strands.

28. Poplar is an exotic tree in some countries of South Asia and was introduced in these countries in the mid-1950s.

29. Since then, it has gained popularity in both India and Pakistan due to its miscellaneous uses as a commercial timber tree, trading potential and rapid growth rate associated with these trees.

30. Do you know? Poplar trees are greatly susceptible to termite attacks, causing significant losses to Poplars every year.

31. Therefore, farmers mainly used logs of poplar as bait in termite traps (known as termaps or termite bait system) for biocontrol of termites in crops.

32. Farmers usually cultivate Poplar trees within agricultural fields because it remains leafless during winter months.

This tree has an ability to adjust exceedingly well with most of the agricultural crops grown especially in the winter season.

33. Over time, Poplar trees have become the most popular tree species for agroforestry system throughout the world due to its fast growth rate, easy marketing strategies and various remarkable uses which we will discuss later in detail.

34. Traditionally, farmers grow Lombardy Poplars in linear and block fashion because they act as a windbreak around their agricultural fields along with other tree species to protect against wind erosion.

35. A poplar tree consumes 20 – 30 litre of water every day.

36. It has been observed by botanists that those areas suffer scarcity of water and soil becomes barren with the passage of time wherever Poplar trees have been introduced as an exotic tree species.

37. It has been examined that the water level becomes low and salinity is seen when they are used as an exotic variety.

38. Here, I would like to mention some facts about the famous Pando forest which is made of thousands of Populus tremuloides clones. Incredible no?

39. The other name of Populus tremuloides is trembling Aspen or quaking Aspen which is distinguished by its leaves.

40. Not forgetting about the Pando forest which is actually a colony of an individual male tree Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides).

In other words, it is believed to be a forest of genetically identical trees.

Read more about the extraordinary Pando forest here in detail.

41. Black poplar wood is fine textured, soft and virtually white in colour. It is naturally flexible and resistant to shock due to its water-absorbing quality.

42. Poplar tree represents a reasonable candidate for phytoremediation which is a recent technology to clean up soil, air and water contaminated with hazardous contaminants by using living trees.

Poplar along with the willows are ideal trees for this purpose.

Recordonline.com

43. The Balmville tree which was cut due to safety concerns in 2015 was the oldest eastern cottonwood in the United States.

Read more about this historical tree here which as narrated by the local folklore as the tree grew when George Washington planted his walking stick there.

44. The largest recorded cottonwood tree in the world is the Frimley Park tree located in Hastings, New Zealand. This cottonwood was planted in the 1870s. It measures 42 m tall, 34 m wide and 10.2 m in girth.

45. In the southern hemisphere, the increasing demand for matchwood prompted interest in poplar growing.

46. When China hosted the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, millions of Chinese citizens planted trees to create a better environment for the Games.

Most of these trees were poplars and willows (Beijing Organizing Committee, 2008).

47. Chile has a long history of planting poplars, starting in the mid-19th century; since about 1985, private industry has contributed significantly to sustainable rural development by planting poplars.

48. At about the same time in North America, the Homestead Act of 1862 in the USA and the Dominion Land Act of 1872 in Canada required homesteaders to plant trees and cultivate the soil in exchange for land in the west.

These laws encouraged settlers to plant huge areas of native poplars (and some willows) on the prairies of North America and prompted the formation of shelterbelt programmes in Canada and the USA.

49. Do you know? According to Martin, et al, poplar trees are especially important to the diet of beavers in the Northeast U.S.

American Wildlife and Plants by Martin, Zim, and Nelson cite the following trees as used by beaver in various parts of the U.S.: poplar (cottonwoods and aspens), along with other native trees.

It is generally noted that beavers prefer to cut down those trees that are soft-wooded which in turn, encourages hard-wooded trees such as oaks to receive more sunshine and thrive well.

Poplar trees in folklore and mythology

Traditional Uses of Poplar Trees

50. Native black poplar has a long history of being used for timber as it is a valued natural resource for construction. They are also used to make pallets and plywood.

51. The ancient Romans and Greeks considered the poplar tree as a symbol of protection and endurance.

They honoured these trees by creating shields and shelters from the wood of poplar trees.

52. Do you know the wood of native Poplar trees has natural fire-resistant quality? This made them an ideal competitor for used as floorboards particularly in those days when the use of paraffin (kerosene) lamps was in demand and commonly used in household purposes.

53. Nearly all Poplar tree wood requirement of industry is being fulfilled from farm-grown Poplar trees in many countries of the world.

54. There was a time in the early 1990s when Poplar based agroforestry systems in South Asian countries provide an annual income of Rs 70, 000 to 80,000 per acre (approximately 180 US dollars) which was a huge amount at that time.

55. The bark of poplar trees is used to make tonics to reduce fever and diarrhoea. They are also used as stimulants and blood purifier in some Asian countries.

56. The wood of Populus ciliata is obtained to create the paper for writing, wrapping gifts and printing.

57. The wood of Poplar trees has become an essential raw material for matches and packaging industries.

58. Admired for its shock-absorbing qualities, Poplar trees were used to make boxes, cardboard, crates, carts, and clogs or wooden shoes.

59. The wood of poplar is reckoned for its high elasticity and this made it an ideal choice for the production of snowboards as well as used to make musical instruments such as electric guitars and drums.

60. The leaves of poplar trees have astringent, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory qualities.

The leaves of poplar, when used as a herbal tea, have a cleansing effect on kidneys.

61. Poplar trees produce copious amount of sap in early spring when their production is at its peak.

This sap when utilized properly makes an extraordinary external ointment for bruises.

62. The Balm of Gilead includes Poplar as a component.

Read more about the Balm of Gilead here.

63. There was a time when the wood of Poplar trees was most commonly used for panel paintings in Italy preferred because of its unique colour and texture.

This is the reason most of the early Renaissance Italian arts were painted on Poplar wood including the famous Mona Lisa.

Poplar trees symbolizes eternal life

64. In ancient Rome, it was customary for people to arrange their meetings or gatherings under the shade of Poplar trees.

The poplar was so widely planted at that time that the Roman proposed a title for that tree named as Arbor Populi or tree of the people.

65. Hence, the name Poplar is originated from the Latin or Roman word “Populus” which means people or so many.

66. The poplar tree is linked to people because of the fluttering habit of poplar leaves which in the slightest breeze make a noise likened to talking. The poplar was a very popular tree among the people of ancient times.

67. This is an elegant reminder for us to acknowledge how this tree was once contemplated so safe and secure and celebrated as a symbol of protection and wellness in those ancient times as well.

68. Poplar tree represents the water element in many forms by providing protection, nourishment and balance to the surroundings.

69. The poplar tree empowers harmony in outstanding issues and healing powers.

70. In American culture, poplar tree symbolizes death because of the fact that poplar trees were used to lynch black people. “The poplar trees were not used for bearing life but for the slaughter of African Americans.

Folklores and mythology about poplar trees

71. According to Greek mythology, the black poplar was created after Phaeton’s ferocious attempt to drive Apollo’s chariot. In some versions, the Phaeton’s seven sisters, known as Heliades, made such an outcry mourning for his death, keeping vigil where Phaeton fell to Earth until the gods transformed the sisters into black Poplar trees and their tears into amber.

Read more about the fate of Phaeton and the reason behind why he drove Apollo’s chariot here.

72. This legend might be the reason for poplar trees rightly seen as the symbol of protection, restoration and balancing conspiracies in controversial issues.

73. The poplar tree symbolises sadness and loneliness. It was once considered unlucky in association with it’s trembling nature.

Due to its massive roots system, it was considered unlucky and a sign of bad luck when planted close to a dwelling.

74. To be more precise, the fallen red male catkins( flower clusters) are portrayed in some folklores ( For instance, in Northern England) as Devil’s fingers and supposed to bring bad luck when touched, collected or even preserved.

Catkins as devil’s fingers

75. The poplar tree is linked with winter season which also symbolises tranquillity and calmness in harsh weather conditions.

76. Greek gods are thought to have woven wreaths made from aspen leaves ( Populus tremula) and Herakles (or Hercules as he is known worldwide in many kinds of literature) was fond of Aspen leaves as cited in many historical scripts such as ( mentioned below)

77. The leaves from this tree were worn as a crown by Hercules after his victory over Cacus ( the guardian of the underworld)

78. In Greek mythology, it is mentioned that the back of the poplar leaf was turned white by the sweat of Herakles or Hercules.

79. In Greek lores, Hercules lit a sacrificial fire of aspen wood when he returned from Hades.

Considering this event, the poplar tree can be seen as a symbol of courage, hope and victory in difficult situations.

80. The poplar tree is vastly used in various enchanted traditions like in divination, creating wands and pendulums from the wood of poplar trees has become a dying art.

81. The Poplar tree emerges in Celtic Tree Astrology as a symbol of creativity, intellectual, confident choices that we made in our lives, loyalty and trust to mention a few of them.

82. There is a myth regarding these trees that sometimes they quake out of repentance because it’s wood became the cross of Christ.

83. Here, I would like to recount one ancient Greco-Roman lore of the most beautiful nymph by the name Leuce. Pluto fell in love with her and abducted her to the underworld. She lived out her remaining life in his realm and when she died, Zeus transformed her into a white poplar tree that would live forever in an Elysium where the pious spent their afterlife.

This legend assumes that poplar tree can be seen as a symbol of fertility, youthfulness, abundance as well as prosperity.

84. Recent evidence dated more than 10,000 years ago suggests an interesting finding that people living along the Euphrates River in the Middle East used poplars for cooking and heating.

85. In 8000 BC, Native American Ojibwe also used poplars for cooking, heating purposes, shelter and used their leaves as medicine.

Native Ojibwe used poplars leaves as medicines

86. Moreover, the Third Dynasty of Ur in Mesopotamia between the Tigris and the Euphrates (modern-day Iraq) used poplar trees to make baskets, boats, construction, ploughs, and as animal fodder in 2100–2000 BC.

87. Archaeological studies have shown that poplar was used for cooking, heating and construction during the period between 700 and 200 BC in Youmulakekum, China, just prior to the Han Dynasty.

88. In 600 AD, the Chinese used poplars for convenience plantings along Xian roadsides and streets, as well as for fuel.

89. In addition, the Hohokam natives used cottonwood for soil stabilization and along irrigation canals in 800 AD in Mexico (now Arizona, USA).

90. European explorers who travelled to the New World in the 17th and 18th centuries often returned with cuttings of poplars to plant in their home gardens.

91. In the early 1800s, the North American explorer’s Lewis and Clark relied on a cottonwood in their quest for a land/river route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.

Cottonwood was the source of wood for their canoes, and it was used for cooking, heating and shelter during their successful 2-year transcontinental voyage (DeVoto, 1977).

92. By the mid-1800s, cultivated poplars were so widespread in Europe that they became the motifs for several French Impressionist painters.

93. Arguably the most famous painter of poplars was the French artist Claude Monet, who started painting poplars in 1858 and began his famous ‘poplar’ series in 1891, when he painted hundreds of paintings near Giverny, France.

94. A notable story about Monet is that he ended up purchasing the subjects of his poplar paintings from the community when it threatened to harvest them

Upon learning that a row of poplar trees lining the bank of the river Epte were to be felled, Monet paid to delay the cutting so he could paint them.

95. In Ukrainian folklore and culture, poplar trees symbolize beauty or loneliness of women in love.

The love for poplar tree is beautifully exemplified in this painting, the poplar tree is growing in me by well known Ukrainian artist, Lesia Maydanets.

This 2015 article on the poplar is a clear proof for their love of these trees.

Will poplar trees disappear in Kyiv?

96. Poplar culture in China also goes back several millennia. In the 2400-year- old book, Hui Zi, methods of cutting and layering for planting poplars are interpreted.

97. Another book, Jin Shu, published 1500 years ago, mentioned that poplars and pagoda trees (Styphnolobium japonicum) were planted along roads in cities for shade. They were also used as living trellises to support grapes in vineyards.

As excerpted from the book, Poplars and Willows: Trees for society and the environment.

S

98. In England, on 29th May, the village of Aston-on-Clun, Shropshire still carry out an old custom of decorating the black poplar tree that stands at the centre of the village with flags. The present tree is quite young but is said to be descended from its original tree ancestor. This is ‘The Arbor Tree ceremony’.

“In 1789, on May 29th, the owner of an estate at this place married. His bride’s father was the owner of an adjoining estate. A poplar tree standing at some crossroads was decorated with little flags on every branch to celebrate the wedding and, although it costs several pounds to do so, the tree, now, of course, a giant, is still decorated in the same way every year.”

As excerpted from this article.

Quotes, poems and literature about Poplar trees

99. Quote about October’s Poplars by Nova Bair

October’s poplars are flaming torches lighting the way to winter.”

Nova Bair

100. Strange Fruit by Abel Meeropol

“Southern trees bear strange fruit, Blood on the leaves and blood at the root, Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze, Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.”

Abel Meeropol

101. A quote by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

”Trees that, like the poplar, hit upward all their boughs, give no shade and no shelter, whatever their height. Trees the most lovingly shelter and shade us, when, like the willow, the higher soar their summits, the lowlier droop their boughs.”

Edward Bulwer-Lytton

102. A quote by Finley Peter Dunne

“Th’ dead ar-re always pop’ lar. I knowed a society wanst to vote a monyment to a man an’ refuse to help his fam’ly, all in wan night.”

Finley Peter Dunne

103. Roadway Poplars

“All the night the frogs go chuckle, all the day the birds are singing In the pond beside the meadow, by the roadway poplar- lined by, In the field between the trenches are a million blossoms springing ‘Twixt the grass of silver bayonets where the lines of battle wind Where man has manned the trenches for the maiming of his kind.”

Soldier Songs, “The Trench” (1917)

104. The poplar never dry

“The sailing pine, the cedar proud and tall, The vine-prop elm, the poplar never dry, The builder oak, sole king of forests all, The aspen good for staves, the cypress funeral.”

By Edmund Spencer

105. Poplar tree leaves

“The morning of September 1st met the citizen of the village shining with beautiful sunny weather. A refreshing breeze, enriched by acerb fragrances of maple, oak, and poplar tree leaves that already began changing their colours for autumn, blew from the lake.”

Sahara Sanders

106. Poem

“Binsey Poplars”

My aspens dear, whose airy cages quelled,

Quelled or quenched in leaves the leaping sun,

All felled, felled, are all felled;

Of a fresh and following folded rank

Not spared, not one

That dandled a sandalled

Shadow that swam or sank

On meadow and river and wind-wandering weed-winding bank …

By Gerard Manley Hopkins

107. Poem Aspens

The whisper of the aspens is not drowned,

And over lightless pane and footless road,

Empty as sky, with every other sound

Not ceasing, calls their ghosts from their abode,

A silent smithy, a silent inn, nor fails

In the bare moonlight or the thick-furred gloom,

In tempest or the night of nightingales,

To turn the cross-roads to a ghostly room …

By Edward Thomas

108. Espen tree

Espen tree, espen tree, I prithee – To shak an shiver insted o’ me.” (Folk Magic of the Northern Counties- Chapter V – Henderson 1879).

109. The Popular Poplar Tree

When the great wind sets things whirling

And rattles the window panes,

And blows the dust in giants

and dragons tossing their manes;

When the willows have waves like water,

And children are shouting with glee;

When the pines are alive and the larches,—

Then hurrah for you and me,

In the tip o’ the top’ o the top o’ the tip of

the popular poplar tree!

Don’t talk about Jack and the Beanstalk—

He did not climb half so high!

And Alice in all her travels

Was never so near the sky!

Only the swallow, a-skimming

The storm-cloud over the lea,

Knows how it feels to be flying—

When the gusts come strong and free—

In the tip o’ the top’ o the top o’ the tip of

the popular poplar tree!

Blanch Willis Howard

110. A poem by Andrew Blakemore

Against the sky of palest blue

The poplar trees stood straight and tall,

And towered above the rooftops

Casting shadows down beneath.

A cooling breeze caressed their twigs

Which soon would wear a cloak of green,

For summer days were drawing near

That urged the sap to rise.

Within the crowns that lay so bare

A group of crows did try to gain,

The highest point of status

As they squabbled and they fought.

Their raucous calls and flapping wings

Disturbed the silence of the morn,

Until they found their rightful place

And arguments ageed.

Against the sky of palest blue

Their sillhouettes as black as night,

So still they perched amongst the boughs

Upon the poplar trees.

By ANDREW BLAKEMORE

111. Barnes (1879) poems of rural life in the Dorset dialect

THE LINDEN ON THE LAWN.

There yonder poplar trees do plaÿ

Soft music, as their heads do swaÿ,

While wind, a-rustlèn soft or loud,

Do stream ageän their lofty sh’oud;

An’ seem to heal the ranklèn zore

My mind do meet wi’ out o’ door,

When I’ve a-bore, in downcast mood,

Zome evil where I look’d vor good.

O’ they two poplars that do rise

So high avore our naïghbours’ eyes,

A-zet by gramfer, hand by hand,

Wi’ grammer, in their bit o’ land;

The woone upon the western zide

Wer his, an’ woone wer grammer’s pride,

An’ since they died, we all do teäke

Mwore ceäre o’m vor the wold vo’k’s seäke.

An’ there, wi’ stems a-growèn tall

Avore the houses mossy wall,

The while the moon ha’ slowly past

The leafy window, they’ve a-cast

Their sheädes ’ithin the window peäne;

While childern have a-grown to men,

An’ then ageän ha’ left their beds,

To bear their childern’s heavy heads.

112. The poplar field by William Cowper

113. Tree of Liberty

 

“Tree of Liberty:   A tree set up by the people, hung with flags and devices, and crowned with a cap of liberty.  The Americans of the United States planted poplars and other trees during the war of independence, “as symbols of growing freedom.”  The Jacobins in Paris planted their first tree of liberty in 1790.  The symbols used in France to decorate their trees of liberty were tricoloured ribbons, circles to indicate unity, triangles to signify equality, and a cap of liberty.  Trees of liberty were planted by the Italians in the revolution of 1848.”

–  E. Cobham Brewer, The Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1894  

References:

A bit of bad luck

Harvard article on poplar trees

poplar tree overview

Eco enchantments- the magic of ogham trees

Strange fruit song

Strange fruit

Binsey poplars

The poem the poplar field

The popular poplar tree poem

Family Salicaceae

Classic Greeks and roman myths

Atlas

Cross and lynching

The linden

* References are provided within the texts where required.

October’s poplars are flaming torches lighting the way to winter.”

Nova Bair

Thank you for reading and highlighting my work. I frequently write for trees and think about them in my happy time. Please visit my blog and do comment on my posts for giving me a little dose of encouragement that I rarely receive.


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