Hun­dreds of Years Old Trees Saved and Re­plant­ed in In­dia

Due to pow­er­ful winds and light show­ers ear­li­er this week, 350- to 400-year-old Neem and Peepal trees at the Ukkadam Lak­sh­mi­narashimar Tem­ple in Coim­bat­ore, In­dia were up­root­ed. But thanks to a suc­cess­ful at­tempt by lo­cals and gov­ern­ment au­thor­i­ties the an­cient trees have been re­plant­ed and live to see an­oth­er day.

The tree’s re­cov­ery is cred­it­ed to mem­bers of Siruthuli, — an NGO based in Coim­bat­ore, In­dia which works to re­ju­ve­nate the wa­ter sources in the city of Coim­bat­ore —  the For­est De­part­ment, a large num­ber of devo­tees and Tirupur Ex­porters As­so­ci­a­tion — Ex­porters of cot­ton knitwear.

Up­root­ing of the tree is in part be­cause of some con­struc­tion work around the tree be­fore the wind­storm in which work­ers care­less­ly cut some roots of the tree, desta­bi­liz­ing it and mak­ing is sus­cep­ti­ble to the gusty weath­er. Tem­ple au­thor­i­ties were in­volved in con­struct­ing a puc­ca con­crete struc­ture i.e., sanc­tum sanc­to­rum for the Vinayakar un­der the Peepal and Neem trees.

The cen­turies-old trees fell caus­ing dam­age not on­ly to them­selves but sur­round­ing shops and a few ve­hi­cles. Up­on ex­am­i­na­tion, Siruthuli re­al­ized that the trees could be saved and ap­proached the Con­ser­va­tor of Forests in Coim­bat­ore, Cir­cle I. An­wardeen, who in turn asked Dis­trict For­est Of­fi­cer A. Periyasamy to send in a team led by Range Of­fi­cers C. Di­neshku­mar and M. Senthilku­mar for in­spec­tion and re­cov­ery.

Man­ag­ing trustee of Siruthuli, Ms. Vanitha Mo­han, gave The Hin­du de­tails on the re-plan­ta­tion of the trees and the col­lec­tive ef­forts of lo­cal bod­ies that brought the trees stand­ing tall once more.

It took 30-odd hours to save the trees with the help of  two cranes, an earth mover, and 18 work­ers pressed in­to ser­vice. The devo­tees per­sist­ed in their re­cov­ery of their beloved tree with much en­thu­si­asm dur­ing the long and dif­fi­cult hours.

Lo­cals now hope that the en­su­ing Mon­soon sea­son will bring life back once more to the shred­ded branch­es in the rainy weath­er.

What is Tu B’Shevat? The New Year for Trees

Tu B’Shevat is the 15th of the Jew­ish month of She­vat — Tu is the He­brew num­ber for 15. The hol­i­day is com­mon­ly known as the ‘New Year for Trees.’ This year  it was cel­e­brat­ed on Mon­day, Jan­u­ary 25, 2016; the date varies each year. In this sea­son, trees in their ear­ly bloom­ing days be­gin their fruit-bear­ing cy­cle in the Land of Is­rael and emerge from their win­ter sleep.

Tu B’Shevat serves a spe­cif­ic pur­pose of mark­ing the new year for cal­cu­lat­ing the age of trees for tithing. This is ref­er­ence to Leviti­cus 19:23–25:

23 “‘When you en­ter the land and plant any kind of fruit tree, re­gard its fruit as for­bid­den.a]">[a] For three years you are to con­sid­er it for­bid­denb]">[b]; it must not be eat­en. 24 In the fourth year all its fruit will be holy, an of­fer­ing of praise to the Lord. 25 But in the fifth year you may eat its fruit. In this way your har­vest will be in­creased. I am the Lord your God.”

Ac­cord­ing to the pas­sage, fruit is not to be eat­en from fruit trees in its first three years. Nor in the fourth year, which is holy and re­served for God. In the fifth year, the fruit from the trees can be eat­en. Each year is marked by the pass­ing of the Tu B’Shevat.

The hol­i­day is cel­e­brat­ed by eat­ing fruit. Jews par­tic­u­lar­ly seek to eat fruits that have been men­tioned in the Torah in its praise of the boun­ty of the Holy Land. They eat from the Sev­en Species (shi­v­at hamin­im) which in­clude wheat, bar­ley, grapes (vines), figs, pome­gran­ates, olives and dates. Some Jews al­so plant new trees on Tu B’Shevat.

 

3 Tree Re­lat­ed Ac­tiv­i­ties for Kids

Is it your kids sum­mer hol­i­days? Are they bored out of their mind? Or are they just spend­ing all day on the iPad? Ei­ther way, it’s time to in­tro­duce them to the great out­doors. The num­ber of ac­tiv­i­ties you can do out­side are lim­it­less, but kids these days don’t know what to do when they’re told to play out­side. It’s not their fault. They just haven’t been ex­posed to all the great things they can do.

Since we love trees, we’ve de­cid­ed to give you 3 great tree-re­lat­ed ac­tiv­i­ties for your kids to en­joy and ap­pre­ci­ate.

Tree­hous­es

Tree­hous­es might sound cliché, but they are eas­i­ly one of the best ideas. It’s great ex­er­cise for both kids and adults, and gives them a chance to bond. As a bonus, your chil­dren get a pri­vate place to go to in the gar­den. It does­n’t have to be so­phis­ti­cat­ed with in­di­vid­ual rooms and win­dows, just a roof and a place to sit. If you’re skilled at wood­work, you can add in more de­tails.

Build a scrap­book

My par­ents gave me this great idea one sum­mer hol­i­day. They bought me a scrap­book and told me to col­lect leaves from dif­fer­ent trees in our gar­den and the park. I past­ed the leaves in the scrap­book and us­ing a book from the li­brary, I iden­ti­fied all the types and wrote a few in­ter­est­ing facts about each un­der the past­ed leaf. I learnt a lot, en­joyed that sum­mer, and was out of my moth­er’s hair for the sum­mer ;)

Arts and craft projects

Get your kid busy with DIY arts and craft projects us­ing fall­en bark and twigs from trees. There are so many great ideas on Pin­ter­est and YouTube where you use bits of trees in an art project. You can cre­ate bowls, key­chains, mag­nets, and oth­er cool dec­o­ra­tive pieces for your home.

5 Fa­mous Trees in Pop Cul­ture

You’ve seen lists for fa­mous dogs and cats in Hol­ly­wood, ever won­der about trees? Pop cul­ture is made up of any­thing that’s hot and trend­ing, and more of­ten than not, that usu­al­ly means any­thing in pop­u­lar film, books, and songs.

Here’s some fa­mous trees that have swept pop cul­ture:

1. The Whomp­ing Wil­low

Who does­n’t know Har­ry Pot­ter and the mas­sive ef­fect it had on read­ing books at a time when read­ing was ap­par­ent­ly go­ing down? Har­ry Pot­ter and his friends had many ad­ven­tures at Hog­warts School for Witch­craft and Wiz­ardry, but none as fright­en­ing than fac­ing the whomp­ing wil­low. The an­gry tree shred­ded any­thing that came its way, in­clud­ing Ron’s fa­ther’s fly­ing car and his wand!

5 Famous Trees in Pop Culture

2. Groot

Guardian’s of the Galaxy did­n’t fit the sterotyp­i­cal im­age of su­per­heros, yet it’s won many fans. And one of the he­roes is none oth­er than a tree it­self. Meet Groot, who on­ly says three words: “I am Groot.” He may be a tree, but no­body mess­es with him.

5 Famous Trees in Pop Culture

3. Grand­moth­er Wil­low

We’ve all grown up on Dis­ney movies, and one of my favourites was Poc­a­hon­tas. The songs, the stun­ning land­scapes and of course wise old Grand­moth­er Wil­low was made this a clas­sic. Her sound ad­vice to “lis­ten with your heart” be­came a mantra for many of us grow­ing up.

5 Famous Trees in Pop Culture

4. The Tree of Voic­es in Avatar

One of the most mes­mer­iz­ing scenes in sci­ence-fic­tion Avatar was how the Na’vi peo­ple con­nect­ed with the Tree of Voic­es. And one of the most shock­ing scenes is when the hu­mans just tear it down! We’re just hop­ing that it’s mag­i­cal­ly back up again in the se­quel. *fin­gers crossed*

5 Famous Trees in Pop Culture

5. Tree­beard

The talk­ing tree that not on­ly walks but en­cour­aged by Mer­ry and Pip­pin wages war on Saru­man. The leader of an an­cient race of crea­tures called Ents makes for some mem­o­rable scenes in Lord of the Rings: The Two Tow­ers. 

5 Famous Trees in Pop Culture

Trees in Jew­ish Tra­di­tions

Trees have been giv­en a key role in Jew­ish tra­di­tions and lit­er­a­ture. Recog­nis­ing its im­por­tance in the ex­is­tence of life, trees have been both men­tioned in holy texts and cel­e­brat­ed for its age and en­durance.

 

Tu B’Shevat Jewish Trees Ketubah

 

Tu B’Shevat

The Jew­ish hol­i­day Tu B’Shevat falls on the 15th of the He­brew month of She­vatand is known as the be­gin­ning of the New Year for Trees. The oc­ca­sion marks the age of trees for tithing. Ac­cord­ing to  Lev 19:23–25, dur­ing the first three years of a tree, it’s fruit is not be eat­en; the fourth year’s fruit is for God. Af­ter the fourth year is com­plete, you are al­lowed to eat the fruit.

Peo­ple cel­e­brate the Tu B’Shevat  by eat­ing fruits, with a high­er pref­er­ence for fruit from trees from Is­rael: olives, dates, grapes, figs and pome­gran­ates.

Holy ref­er­ences

The sto­ry of cre­ation be­gins with the birth of trees. As men­tioned in Gen­e­sis 1:11–12,

And God said: ‘Let the earth put forth grass, herb yield­ing seed, and fruit-tree bear­ing fruit af­ter its kind, where­in is the seed there­of, up­on the earth.’ And it was so

And the earth brought forth grass, herb yield­ing seed af­ter its kind, and tree bear­ing fruit, where­in is the seed there­of, af­ter its kind; and God saw that it was good.”

The Torah pro­hibits the de­struc­tion of trees, es­pe­cial­ly fruit trees, even in war. Ac­cord­ing to Deuteron­o­my 20:19–20,

When you lay siege to a city for a long time, fight­ing against it to cap­ture it, do not de­stroy its trees by putting an ax to them, be­cause you can eat their fruit. Do not cut them down. Are the trees peo­ple, that you should be­siege them?

How­ev­er, you may cut down trees that you know are not fruit trees and use them to build siege works un­til the city at war with you falls.

 

All You Need to Know About the Wise Oak Tree in Cul­ture and His­to­ry

Oak trees have been on flags, stamps, doc­u­ments, seals, and oth­er sym­bol­ic ob­jects. The wise oak tree has been a sym­bol of wis­dom and knowl­edge in­her­ent in its un­shake­able strong trunk. The pow­er to at­tract light­en­ing has ren­dered it to be cel­e­brat­ed as a sign of pow­er and strength. Oak trees have held a lot of sig­nif­i­cance in many cul­tures and so­ci­eties for thou­sands of years, and they still con­tin­ue to do so.

 

oak trees ketubah

King of the For­est

It’s abil­i­ty to stand strong against na­ture’s storms has earned it many ti­tles: King of the For­est, King of the Green­wood, and more fa­mous­ly the Mighty Oak. Per­haps for this rea­son, oak trees are the na­tion­al tree for a large num­ber of coun­tries  in­clud­ing Ser­bia, Cyprus (Gold­en Oak), Eng­land, Es­to­nia, France, Ger­many, Moldo­va, Ro­ma­nia, Jor­dan, Latvia, Lithua­nia, Poland, Wales, Gali­cia, Bul­gar­ia, and even the Unit­ed States!

Oak Trees in Celtic Leg­ends

In Celtic lore, an­cient celts be­lieved the im­pres­sive ex­panse and growth of the oak tree was a clear sign that it was hon­ored for its en­durance and “no­ble pres­ence”. They ac­tu­al­ly used oak trees to de­note a spe­cial sta­tus among the com­mu­ni­ty — the Greeks and Ro­mans al­so did this. The oak tree makes re­peat­ed ap­pear­ances in Celtic cul­tures and folk­lore.

Wor­ship of Oaks in Greek Mythol­o­gy

Any­body who’s watched Dis­ney’s Her­cules or Clash of the Ti­tans knows that Zeus was con­sid­ered the King of Gods. In his or­a­cle at Dodona, Zeus was revered in the orac­u­lar oak, and his voice would be heard in the rustling of oak leaves (usu­al­ly in­ter­pret­ed by priests), the same way it was heard in thun­der.

Some Pret­ty Old Oaks

Oak trees are known to live a very, very long time. Some pret­ty cool trees have stood the test of time:

  • The Bowthor­pe Oak over a 1000 years old from Bourne, Lin­colnshire was fea­tured in the Guin­ness World Records.
  • The Crouch Oak  lo­cat­ed in Ad­dle­stone, Sur­rey be­lieved to have orig­i­nat­ed in the 11th Cen­tu­ry, is an im­por­tant sym­bol of its town. Leg­end says that Queen Eliz­a­beth I had a pic­nic un­der­neath it.
  • The Sev­en Sis­ters Oak is the largest cer­ti­fied south­ern live oak tree. It has a trunk with a di­am­e­ter of 38 feet. It’s age? Just about 150o years old!
  • The Ma­jor Oak is lo­cat­ed in Sher­wood For­est, Eng­land. The same for­est where leg­endary Robin Hood and his mer­ry men lived.

Fam­i­ly Tree Ke­tubahs

Many, many years ago your great-great-great-grand­par­ents were sign­ing their ke­tubah, as you will some time soon. At the time it was just the two of them, but now decades lat­er you’re a small part of a large fam­i­ly. It won’t be sur­pris­ing if you don’t even know half your rel­a­tives, but the ones you do know are your sup­port sys­tem. Whether you dis­agree or not, you can al­ways count on them to be there for you.

Ju­daism places a lot of im­por­tance on fam­i­ly and main­tain­ing close ties with your rel­a­tives. Ask any Jew about their most mem­o­rable Jew­ish tra­di­tions, and each oc­ca­sion will in­volve fam­i­ly mem­bers. Passover Seders at your grand­par­ents’ house, light­ing Chanukah can­dles with your el­ders, or eat­ing Shab­bat and oth­er Jew­ish meals at home all em­pha­sise the sig­nif­i­cance of fam­i­ly in Jew­ish rit­u­als.

Fam­i­ly trees all be­gin with the sign­ing of a ke­tubah. For cou­ples who want to pay homage to their fam­i­ly and an­ces­tors, a bloom­ing fam­i­ly tree is the per­fect sym­bol. The same goes for peo­ple who want to ded­i­cate their ke­tubah to fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

A fam­i­ly tree ke­tubah sounds like a Pin­ter­est project, with pic­tures and em­bell­ish­ments. As fas­ci­nat­ing as that sounds, it’s not sus­tain­able. Ke­tubahs are meant to last for­ev­er, which is why you should con­sid­er a high-qual­i­ty ke­tubah il­lus­trat­ed and paint­ed by pro­fes­sion­al artists. You can fur­ther cus­tomise your ke­tubah by adding unique el­e­ments spe­cial to your fam­i­ly as adorn­ments to the tree branch­es, like your grand­fa­ther’s fa­vorite bird or the ros­es your moth­er likes to grow in her back­yard.

Ke­tubahs are no longer a doc­u­ment you roll up and lock in a safe­ty de­posit box, but a work of art with unique mean­ing and sig­nif­i­cance etched in­to every word and stroke. Fam­i­ly tree ke­tubahs will al­ways re­mind you and your chil­dren of the most im­por­tant thing in life — fam­i­ly!

 

What Hap­pens to Trees Af­ter Wild­fires?

Any per­son who keeps up with the news knows that Cana­da is go­ing through one of its worst wild­fires ever. The city of Fort Mc­Mur­ray is in ru­ins with over 1600 homes and build­ings burned in the fire, and more than 90,000 peo­ple evac­u­at­ed from the area. Luck­i­ly no lives have been lost, yet the com­mu­ni­ty mourns the loss of their homes, pos­ses­sions, and an im­age of a place burned to the ground.

Flames burn near the City of Berkeley's Toulumne Family Camp near Groveland, California, USA, 25 August 2013.  Firefighters battling a rapidly spreading wildfire in California will have to contend with ridge winds expected to increase late 25 August 2013 and hamper containment efforts.  EPA/NOAH BERGER ** Usable by LA Only **

While build­ings can be re­con­struct­ed, and things bought again, one thing that caught my at­ten­tion was the trees. What hap­pens to forests af­ter a wild­fire? Well that de­pends on a cou­ple of things.

Dry­ness

A study by Phil van Mant­gem, a re­search ecol­o­gist, sur­veyed thou­sands of trees in more than a dozen west­ern parks, and found that those trees burned in dry con­di­tions was more like­ly to die than a tree sim­i­lar­ly burned in wet con­di­tions. Trees in ar­eas which were go­ing through a drought were more like­ly to burn com­plete­ly.

In­ten­si­ty of the Fire

The high­er the in­ten­si­ty of the fire, the more dam­ag­ing its ef­fects. Sur­pris­ing­ly, low-in­ten­si­ty fires are ac­tu­al­ly ben­e­fi­cial to main­tain­ing a healthy for­est in the long run. Trees can al­so re­cov­er from mod­er­ate-in­ten­si­ty fires, as the strongest and most health­i­est trees sur­vive leav­ing some for­est cov­er. But stronger fires are dam­ag­ing in the long run as they lose pro­tec­tion from rain­fall and ero­sion caused by the re­sult­ing white, grey ash from the fire.

Pri­or Treat­ment

For­est Ecol­o­gy and Man­age­ment pub­lished a study on tree sur­vival af­ter a wild­fire, on ar­eas treat­ed with thin­ning and pre­scribed fire. The re­sults showed “prob­a­bil­i­ty of sur­vival was great­est in those ar­eas that had both thin­ning and pre­scribed fire pri­or to the wild­fire event. Sur­vival was near ze­ro for the un­treat­ed ar­eas. Sur­vival in thinned-on­ly ar­eas was greater than un­treat­ed ar­eas but sub­stan­tial­ly less than the ar­eas with both treat­ments.”

Un­der­stand­ing how cer­tain trees sur­vive in a wild­fire, is cru­cial to pre­vent­ing their dam­age and lim­it­ing the spread of the fire. While it is cer­tain­ly a large task, it’s ef­fects would be sub­stan­tial on peo­ple liv­ing in wild­fire-prone ar­eas and the wildlife liv­ing there.

 

Each Ton of Re­cy­cled Pa­per Saves 17 Trees

Sur­pris­ing­ly, not many peo­ple know that pa­per comes from trees. I guess it’s one of those things that peo­ple don’t give a sec­ond thought about. Like when was the last time you thought about how glass is made? Or where plas­tic comes from?

Un­less you’ve stud­ied ba­sic-lev­el sci­ences, not many peo­ple are aware of how piv­otal trees are in keep­ing this world, and us, alive. A brief bi­ol­o­gy les­son tells you that hu­mans need oxy­gen to sur­vive, and the biggest oxy­gen pro­duc­tion unit on Earth is trees. Not on­ly do they let us breathe, they are home to thou­sands of species of an­i­mals and in­sects. They keep the soil sta­ble, and pre­vent ero­sion.

In short, re­mov­ing trees is bad for us and our plan­et.

Be­cause trees are use­ful in so many oth­er ma­te­ri­al­is­tic ways, such as for fire­wood and build­ing ma­te­r­i­al for homes and fur­ni­ture, they are be­ing cut down at an alarm­ing rate. Glob­al warm­ing is a ma­jor cause for con­cern every­where, and it is most­ly a con­se­quence of loos­ing dense forests that once cov­ered large por­tions of land.

While ask­ing man to stop build­ing out of wood is the best op­tion, a more vi­able al­ter­na­tive is to re­cy­cle what we have al­ready tak­en from Moth­er Earth. Pa­per is used every­day, every minute. Elec­tron­ic de­vices are do­ing a great job in re­plac­ing the need for print­ed ma­te­r­i­al and books, yet con­sump­tion of pa­per re­mains.

Rather than throw pa­per you no longer need in the thrash, a great and more pro­found op­tion is to re­cy­cle it. Gath­er news­pa­pers, mag­a­zines, an­noy­ing newslet­ters and pam­phlets you’re most like­ly nev­er go­ing to need and have them re­cy­cled.

Ac­cord­ing to the Uni­ver­si­ty of South­ern In­di­ana, “Each ton (2000 pounds) of re­cy­cled pa­per can save 17 trees, 380 gal­lons of oil, three cu­bic yards of land­fill space, 4000 kilo­watts of en­er­gy, and 7000 gal­lons of wa­ter. This rep­re­sents a 64% en­er­gy sav­ings, a 58% wa­ter sav­ings, and 60 pounds less of air pol­lu­tion!”

So re­cy­cling pa­per not on­ly saves tree, it saves you, me and every­body else on this green plan­et.

Four Times Trees took Cen­ter Stage in Art His­to­ry

Along with pro­vid­ing  food, shade, green­ery and oxy­gen, trees have long served as a pil­lar of in­spi­ra­tion. They have silent­ly stood by while hu­mankind has pro­gressed, and giv­en us the spark to move for­ward. An ap­ple tree was re­spon­si­ble for giv­ing us New­ton’s the­o­ry of grav­i­ty, when a falling ap­ple fell on the Eng­lish sci­en­tist’s head. Like­wise they have in­spired fa­mous names in sci­ence, art and Amer­i­can lit­er­a­ture in­clud­ing writ­ers like Faulkn­er, Ker­ouac, Wel­ty and Whar­ton.

One very fa­mous de­pic­tion of a tree in the his­to­ry of art is by none oth­er than famed artist Van Gogh. Paint­ed in Oc­to­ber 1889, an oil on can­vas paint­ing named Mul­ber­ry Tree fea­tures — yep, you’ve guessed it — a sin­gle gold­en Mul­ber­ry tree is one of the artist’s best works. He paint­ed the famed tree be­tween epilep­tic at­tacks, and an asy­lum in Saint-Rémy he checked him­self in­to. mulberry-tree

In an am­bi­tious project, art duo Chris­to and Jeanne-Claude wrapped trees with 592,015 square feet (55,000 square me­ters) of wo­ven poly­ester fab­ric. The project took around 10 days to com­plete and left on the trees for an­oth­er 3 weeks. The poly­ester bil­lowed in the wind, cre­at­ing “dy­nam­ic vol­umes of light and shad­ow and mov­ing in the wind with new forms and sur­faces shaped by the ropes on the fab­ric.”

 Christo and Jeanne-Claude Wrapped Trees

Sculp­tures with branch­es, with or with­out leaves or flow­ers, makes reg­u­lar ap­pear­ances in the art com­mu­ni­ty. But it was in 2009, Roxy Paine’s most am­bi­tious work, Mael­strom, that took New York’s breath away. Sit­ting on top of the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Mu­se­um of Art, it gave view­ers the sense of be­ing im­mersed in the midst of a cat­a­clysmic force of na­ture.

Roxy Paine’s Maelstrom

Over a hun­dred years old, this time­less work of art, known as Au­tumn Trees, is a prod­uct of Egon Schiele. It now be­longs to a pri­vate col­lec­tor, and is an echo of his por­traits fea­tur­ing spindly limbs of nude mod­els and him­self.

autumn-trees