We and Trees : Our Experiences with Plantation

Well, this post is meant to share our experiences while tree plantations with our readers. Hope it will encourage more & more people to plant Native Trees and to care for our environment.

When we shifted to our new house, there was an Open Space adjacent to it, which was allotted by Municipal Corporation for gardening. But practically, it was being used as a dump yard by people. On top of that, it was thickly covered by weeds like Carrot grass (Parthenium Hysterophorus). So Initially we started with cleaning and de-weeding the place.

After that we planted few saplings there. We also arranged drip-irrigation system for watering. Still many of the saplings died during six months as the ground was thoroughly wiped out of nutrients by the weeds. Then we started dumping our kitchen waste near the planted saplings. We also got some dung fertilizer to impregnate the Earth. And trust me it worked well. The saplings began to grow vigorously..obviously with due care. First two years were tiresome.

But there was a mistake with those plantations. We have got few sapling from the Municipal Corporation unaware of the fact that they were introduced species. In that initial period, we carelessly planted whatever we got to plant. Its after two years that we hit by the fact. But by that time those varieties were competing with the Native species for space, Sun-light, nutrients & water. Now we can't even cut them nor they are useful to birds & insects. These introduced species eventually decrease the space available for habitat of our native species of birds, insects and trees as well and hence they have very detrimental effect. It is the reason why we always emphasize on plantation of Native species. We have learnt from our mistakes.

Then we never ever planted a introduced or non-native varieties. Yes, there were many times when neighbours and friends had advised us to plant introduced varieties as they thought those are more beautiful. Obviously no one ever turned up to contribute or volunteer.

As time passed by, we witnessed creation of a beautiful landscape. Amazingly in just 4 years, small saplings planted on bare land is developed into a thriving woodland complete with sturdy trees big enough for you to walk under, with few fresh fruits for you to eat, rich ground flora and a host of wildlife. The trees also kept the weeds under control. :)

These trees and flowering plants now attract lots of bees, butterflies and lots of birds. We also witnessed first flight of young birds from their nests in our garden. And yes, it is frequently visited by reptiles & mongooses as well. It is a habitat or home for them in the midst of concrete jungles.

So after that, we began to plant trees in other spaces allocated by Municipal Corporation. But this time, we can't say no one helped us. The space had one naturally grown Babool tree...a very good agroforestry tree. We just set a tree-guard around the tree, as it is a common tree felled by urbanites. The tree which can grow fast while fighting with thick cover of weeds must be saved!

And after six months, one fine morning I saw a sapling growing under that Babool tree. That's too of Semal tree! So Mother Nature lend us a helping hand. Semal being a tall tree, we kept both of them as they were.

Right now, we are working on two open spaces near our residential area. In our upcoming posts, we will share their progress with You. :-)

Prarambh : Beginning of New Life!

What could be a better way to commemorate the wedding than planting a tree?! The wedding ceremony of my sister started with a lovely event - planting of Coconut tree by the to-be couple. In an age when most of us wish to celebrate the wedding with loud crowd and fireworks, the lovely couple agreed to plant a native tree as a reminiscence of the day. Not only the tree will contribute to our environment, but will also remind us about the wonderful day...always!

There are only trees who will give selflessly without expecting anything in return. They rejuvenate, they shelter and they nurture. Throughout the ever-changing life, they remain grounded in reality and thus inspiring us to remain equanimous through the ups and downs of life.

Let us pray the couple gets all the happiness, love & respect in the world. And hope that as the tree grows, relation & bonding between the two also grow stronger and as the roots go deeper, they share the ever-lasting faith..! :-)

My Best Sister's Wedding!

Yes.. My younger sis will be getting married in few days. That is the reason I couldn't visit the blog in this month. But how could I waste the chance to dedicate a native tree for the lovely couple. :)

Not only that, but we are also encouraging and requesting all relatives, friends to plant and grow at least one tree.

We have printed a message on the invitation card (Nimantran Patrika, as we call it in India).

As it reads on the envelop, it means - Giving gifts in a wedding is just a formality. Planting native tree and growing it, is a true blessing!

This, on the main invitation card, means - No Gifts Please!
Put an end to useless gifts. Nature conservation is the real bliss.
The best gift for the newly married couple will be planting a native tree and nurturing it! For more on Native trees, Please visit- http://www.giftingtrees.blogspot.com/

"That's very nice!"
"I loved this idea the most..!"
"Very thoughtful!"

These are few of the exclamations that followed! What's your take..?


Counting our Gifts...

If you have noticed, when you wake up early in the morning, there is a pleasant music of Nature that is playing in the backyard. Yes, there is chatter of birds, chirping of crickets or croaking of frogs, even in cities like Mumbai. We hear them everyday; may be that’s why we tend to ignore it. But there are some areas in the developed world where it is deathly silent. Want to know why it is so..?

Pure air, Solar energy and fresh water are known to be our resources. I need not tell you the pollution of Air and Water taking place all round the globe. Everything..from pesticides to our daily drainage, our devoted offerings to Deities (Nirmalya, as called in India) to heavy loads of cosmetics used in make-up..everything ultimately reaches to our sacred rivers and then to ocean. All our deeds have made the water of rivers so unfit for use that we have to spend crores to make it suitable for consumption.

Some might say, "We never throw anything harmful into river. Then why we are forced to pay for water purification in the form of taxes?"

Yes, you might have never ever used pesticides or cosmetics (?). But, being a consumer, you must be using numerous products which are manufactured in industries. Take for example, Paper manufacturing company or a Thermo-electric power plant. I am not trying to criticise anybody or any company here. All I want to say is ultimately, its all of us, Humans, who are responsible for these pollutions. There N number of industries or companies which are disposing the harmful chemical by-products into rivers or emitting disastrous gases in the atmosphere without any pre-treatment.

So I will say the taxation is justified! But here We are taking all the living organisms in water for granted. We are paying in currency, but forcing them to pay in the form of their lives; and that's too for our deeds. In Nashik, we have example of Nasardi. Surprised? Yes, it used to be a fresh water river few decades back, harbouring many fishes & other organisms. But now it is being converted into a Nala (river of dirty water) in which only disease spreading mosquitoes or like can develop. Its our loss too as we lost a source of fresh water.

Same applies for Air. As the cities increased in size, air pollution increased exponentially. With less food available for birds, they have to migrate to countryside. But their too, we have fields sprayed with poisonous pesticides; further contributing to decreasing the number of birds. Similarly insects, amphibians, reptiles have decreased tremendously in numbers in last decade, especially in developed countries.

Thank God we couldn’t yet deteriorate the solar energy, which is an energy source for life on Earth. But still there are reports of declining soil fertility from various parts of the world. To understand this, we must now look at another of the Earth’s basic resources, the soil. The top soil contains loads of micro-organisms, ranging from algae to earthworms. They all are essential component of soil. The action-interaction of these micro-organisms help in enriching the soil with number of macro- and micro-nutrients. The soil won't be fertile if we lose these creatures. And that's what is taking place. The pesticides & herbicides won't differentiate in 'good' insects/micro-organisms and 'bad' ones. Its spraying kills them all. It also been reported & proved that the traces, usually in increased concentrations, of these poisonous pesticides are found in the soil even after 5 years; though rain water keeps on washing them into the water streams, contaminating the the aquatic life too!

Water, soil and Earth’s green mantle of plants make up the world that supports the animal life of the Earth. Although we, modern man seldom remember the fact, we could not exist without the plants that harness the sun’s energy and manufacture the basic foodstuffs he depends upon for life. Our attitude towards plants and other organisms is singularly narrow one.

The problem is, We do not adjust or change according to Nature. We try to change Nature according to us. Actually speaking, Nature has everything to sustain and balance the life..enough for man's need, not for man's greed! But one thing we have to keep in mind, if we want our future generations to live here peacefully and prosperously, then we have to share this world with all living organisms. After all, its their world too!

'But how?'

For starters, lets have a look at our roadsides or field borders. Usually we do not allow growth of wild shrubs & climbers there, do we? Especially in some parts of urban societies. Generally, though known as weeds, these shrubs & climbers are not invasive at all. Of course they usually accompanied by real weeds too, but this doesn't mean that we should remove them also. We can't ignore the beautiful flowers they bear, which also provide food for bees and insects. These insects, so essential to our agriculture, deserve something better from us than the senseless destruction of their habitat. There is obviously more to the wish to preserve our roadside vegetation than even mere aesthetic considerations. In the economy of Nature, the natural vegetation has its essential place. Hedgerows along country roads and bordering fields provide food, cover and nesting areas for birds and homes for many small animals. But their destruction is justified by their bad company. How could some intelligent beings seek to control a few unwanted species by a method that contaminated the entire environment and brought the threat of disease and death to their own kind? To destroy the homes and the food of wildlife is perhaps worse in the long run than direct killing.

You can definitely search other ways to if you wish to..like keeping water-baths, food for birds or so. Keep your eyes wide open and you will certainly find the way.

If we look at the history of life on Earth, it has been a history of interaction between living things and their surroundings. The origin of Life on Earth is dated 3.8 billion years back while that of first human 2 million years ago, according to scientists. If we consider this era from the start of life on Earth till today as 1 hour. Then calculations tell that we, humans have come here just 1.89 seconds before! All other organisms like insects, fish, plants, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, birds etc have been here since eons of time, a way before humans. So we are new-comers here. But look at the hell around we have created for the other living organisms. They, certainly do not deserve this!

It took hundreds of millions of years to produce the life that now inhabits the Earth - eons of time in which that developing and evolving and diversifying life reached a state of adjustment and balance with its surroundings. Given time – time not in years but in millenniums – life adjusts and a balance has been reached. For time is the essential ingredient; but in the modern world, there is no time!

Do You wish to change the perspective to look at our environment and its inhabitants???

Let us join hands...

Ever thought, why everyone is talking about Global Warming? What are these Greenhouse gases? Why there is so much rise in Tree Plantation Campaigns? Why Green has become the catchy & coolest colour around the world? If not, I am sure you must have thought about the increasing incidents of droughts, sun-strokes, cloud-bursts, floods, land-slides and number of deaths associated with it.

After just three years from Al Gore's documentary film An Inconvenient Truth was released, we are facing the unstable and extreme climatic conditions. In recent years, we have seen record temperatures on every continent. Animals and insects are changing their migratory patterns. Invasive species and insects such as malaria-carrying mosquitoes are spreading into new territories. Glaciers in the arctic regions, on Mount Everest in Asia, on Mount Kilimanjaro in Kenya, Mount Fuji in Japan and throughout Europe & Americas, are melting, causing the world’s oceans to rise. People in small island nations in the Pacific Ocean have already been forced to abandon their homes. The death toll from floods and mudslides rises every year.

The worst thing is as ocean temperatures increase, coral reefs die, hurricanes increase in frequency and strength and weather patterns change. Droughts and floods are more common than ever before. Global surface temperature has increased by about 0.74 °C (1.33 °F) during the 20th century. This much of increase of temperature in the lower troposphere is resulting in unstable climate we are facing nowadays. Imagine, how much this condition will worsen if we continue to destroy & pollute our nature. If the temperature continues to rise, the impact will be significant..

Here is a anticipated statistic.. If temperature increases by -
2°C: Coral reefs will become extinct,
+3°C: Rainforests will turn to desert,
+4°C: Melting ice caps will displace billions of people
+5°C: Sea levels will rise by five to nine metres.
And then a day will come when it will be impossible for us to breathe also; forget about food & water!

Deforestation and Climate Change are intimately connected. Globally, deforestation releases nearly 2 billion tons of Carbon dioxide per year and is responsible for nearly 25% of man-made CO2 emissions. The destruction of the world's forests not only harms the wildlife and communities that depend on them, but increasingly affects us all. As lands are cleared, releasing carbon into the atmosphere - more carbon but less trees to remove it. Introducing all this formerly-stored carbon into the atmosphere, with no corresponding mechanism to take it back out, has also contributed to the current high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. And these are not my imaginary thoughts! Search web.. Internet is loaded with such information.

We, the Indians, also are not behind. In our hunger for wood, more then 44 million hectares of forests have been felled since Independence, making this country a land with one of the lowest areas under forest cover as compared to total land available.

Every year, the equivalent of 40 billion tons of carbon dioxide enters the global atmosphere, the result of the ever increasing use of fossil fuel. This increase in atmospheric carbon, in combination with the loss of forests has made global climate change worse. Global food security is declining, as is the world's supply of safe drinking water. Unfortunately air pollution does not respect international boundaries! So soon or later, we all are going to suffer.

'Who cares?'
'In no way, we are related to this!' Some might think. Then just have a look at these statistics..
Since the year 1997, according to Government figures, over 150000 farmers have committed suicide and even more have left farming in India, due to unstable monsoon & droughts as one of the main reason. Maharashtra alone accounts for 20% of the total number of the deaths. It is estimated that, on average, one Indian farmer committed suicide every 32 minutes between 1997 and 2005. Think.. The producer is suffering today; tomorrow We, being the consumer, certainly will..!

Droughts and land degradation are not purely natural calamities. They are proven to be the result of a process of systematic neglect of the rain-fed lands and people depending on them. The continued erosion of the productive capacity of the natural resources in the rain-fed regions has made these sections of the population much more vulnerable to the vagarious climate.

I need not tell you about the cutting & killing of trees occurring in Nashik. And this is occurring all around the planet at an alarming rate. Trees are markedly decreasing in numbers and are replaced by concrete jungle. How many trees, do you think, are cut around the world? Believe it or not, but between three to six billion per year! And for what purpose? To make up for the world demand of wood, paper, furniture and other wooden products! Trust me, this is just one aspect out of number of others which are causing detrimental and disastrous effects on our environment.

Everyone loves to talk about the climate crisis. But talking alone is not going to stop lands from degrading, glaciers from melting, sea-levels from rising or the rain-forests from disappearing. We have to do something to stop it. For starters, let us plant native trees and decrease the use/demand of wooden products. It's the simple, only, effective way to reduce & offset the carbon emission caused by us! It's a permanent way to impregnate the soil of the degraded land!!!

Because a large tree inhales 20.3 kg of CO2 in a year and exhales enough oxygen for a family of four for a year. If the native trees are planted, nurtured and not cut, there is a ray of hope for ALL OF US :-)

Remember, when there is a war raging, it is impossible to stay out of it.
One day the war will get to You...

The First Environmentalist!

Do you believe that there should be co-existence of life? Do you have that compassion for all of the living things? Do you believe that all living beings, including animals & trees, have right to survive and share all resources?

Sounds like a ‘once upon a time’ story? Or appears to be like the Na’vi people from the movie Avatar?? But these people exist in Western Rajasthan, India. :-)

They have been conserving the flora and fauna for centuries to the extent of sacrificing their lives to protect the environment. For these Nature-loving people, protection of the environment, wildlife and plants is a part and inherited parcel of their sacred traditions. Their religion of peace based on 29 principles that included compassion for all living beings, cleanliness, devotion, vegetarian diet and truthfulness. They are the Bishnois (bish means twenty, noi is nine).

A small community spread over the North-Western states of India, including Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh besides Rajasthan, the Bishnois have contributed more to environment and wildlife protection than any other community. They have learnt, with time and hardships, how to nurture Nature and grow with her instead of exploiting it.

More than 500 years ago, a simple visionary villager saint from a remote desert area, without even the basic education, clearly understood the importance of preserving bio-diversity and the ill-effects of not doing so. He not only understood it himself, but also had the wisdom to influence generations of people to preserve it by weaving it with their religion.

With firm roots in Hinduism, Bishnoi is not just a community, but a simple & scientific way of living. A person who follows 29 rules laid by Guru Jambheshwarji is a Bishnoi. Bishnoism teaches love & harmony among human, tree, animals & whole Nature. Bishnoi people have their self sustained economy by farming and animal husbandry. Most of normal life essentials are their own produced like food grains, milk, butter, cooking oil, masalas, cotton, wool. Out of total 29 principles of Bishnoism, 6 principles are dedicated to environment protection & compassion for living things.

Here are some interesting facts about them -
Though worshipping the Hindu Deity Vishnu, the Bishnois bury their dead. The idea is to avoid wastage of fire wood used in cremations.

They use dead wood & fuel cakes made of cow dung waste fodder for cooking purposes to minimize the use of green trees.

Bishnoi carpenters never cut a live trees. They wait for trees to die on their own or fall down during storms.

Every Bishnoi family creates a tank in their field to provide water for animals in the arid summer months. They themselves can be hungry & thirsty but they will never allow an animal or bird to die due to lack of fodder/food or water.

Even though much of their standing crop is eaten by deer herds, no Bishnoi ever chases a deer away.

Bishnois consider it a great pride to be able to die saving trees or animals.

In Abohar tehsil of Punjab, there is a sanctuary notified by Punjab Government containing 13 Bishnoi villages. This is a unique sanctuary comprising of farmers lands!

Though propounders of peace and non-violence, Bishnois can become extremely violent if any animal or tree is harmed in their area.

Today also, the Bishnois immediately detect hunters who come to their villages and catch them. If the poachers escape leaving a dead antelope in an agricultural field, the owner will mourn its death like that of the passing on of a near or dear one and will not eat or drink water till the last rites are performed. On many occasions the Bishnois are injured and even killed by hunters but they fearlessly provide strict protection to the blackbuck and chinkara, which fearlessly roam in their settlements. Having this kind of environmental awareness and commitment, Bishnois stand apart from the countless other sects and communities in India.

The story of Amrita Devi still echoes in the community. 300 years back, when officials of the king of Jodhpur, Maharaja Abhay Singh started felling a few Khejri trees in Khejerli village, Amrita Devi with her three daughters offered their heads to prevent the felling. "If a tree can be saved at the cost of my head, then this is a good deal & acceptable to me” said Amrita Devi. Till the tree felling stopped, 363 Bishnois from Khejerli and adjoining villages sacrificed their lives. Later, hearing about it, the King apologized for his action and issued a royal decree engraved on a copper plate, prohibiting the cutting of trees and hunting of animals in all Bishnoi villages. Violation of this order by anyone including the members of the ruling family would entail prosecution and a severe penalty. A temple and monument stand as testimony to the sacrifice of the 363 martyrs. Every year, the Bishnois assemble there to commemorate the extreme sacrifice made by their people to preserve their faith and religion.

Bishnois supreme sacrifice inspired many including Sundarlal Bahuguna who launched the Chipko Aandolan or Tree Clinging Movement.

"Embrace the trees and
Save them from being felled;
The property of our hills,
Save them from being looted."
..Mr Ghanasyam Raturi, the Chipko Poet, whose songs echo throughout the Himalayas of Uttar Pradesh.

The people have made a unique blend of ecological sense and religious sensibility their faith's cornerstone. Any change in the world has to begin within the society. Think for a moment... All this talk about Nature and wildlife protection would be more effective if each individual was to believe in the Earth as a living, breathing entity and fight for its survival the way they do.

Bishnoi principles are ray of hope for health, environment, peace, harmony & love and are useful for everyone irrespective religion, faith & community.

"Maatu hamru, paani hamru,
hamra hi chhan yi baun bhi...
Pitron na lagai baun,
hamunahi ta bachon bhi"

Meaning of this old Chipko Song : Soil ours, water ours, ours are these forests.
Our forefathers raised them, it’s We who must protect them!

Say Trees :-D

Its more than a year now that I am making You familiar to our Native Trees...and I will continue to do so! Till now, I may have mentioned N number of uses or advantages or benefits of Trees. But have you ever thought, Trees also make us look beautiful! No I am not talking about various cosmetics made from Trees. Just think.. When You pose for a photograph, do you prefer a 'non-green site' (concrete buildings, tar-road or a wall) behind yourself?
Imagine You standing in front of a under-construction building with a photographer shouting "Say cheese".
'Phew' will be your reaction!

Now imagine You standing on the bank of a tranquilizing river coming down from the shoulders of a mountain covered with Trees...
'Wow!' The imagination itself is so blissful!!

Few exceptions apart, most of the time You will choose a 'green site' (forests, river, mountains) for photo-shoots, isn't it? Not just for photographs, but Trees are so important! The soil of mountains, rivers, climate regulation and so on..all are Gifts by Trees! Trees give us that all! Our Native Trees!!!

We usually, tend to smile when somebody say 'cheese' at the time of photo-shoot. But we forget about our Native Trees which make us smile..!

The ever-increasing size of cities engulfing the forests and agricultural lands that once were Green. Ultimately, its We all that cutting down forests and constructing concrete buildings. The cities are increasing in size & population, demanding more & more space. And no one of the urban-dweller is exception to it. But one can make exceptions here..one can make a difference! By planting and nurturing few of these at your place.

So that next time when somebody poses in front of these beautiful trees planted by You, your face will have a broad sssssmmmile!!!
Smile Green! :-)

Acacia Catechu - Cutch Tree/खैर
Acacia Leucophloea - White Bark Acacia/हिंवर
Acacia Nilotica - Babool Tree/बाभूळ, बाभळी
Acacia Senegal - Gum Arabic Tree/कुम्ठा
Adenanthera Pavonina - Red Bead Tree, Coralwood/रतनगुंज, थोरला गुंज
Azadirachta Indica - Neem/कडुनिंब
Bombax Ceiba - Red Silk-Cotton Tree/काटेसांवर, शाल्मली
Calotropis Procera - Calotropis, Sudom Apple/रुई
Cariya Arborea - Wild Guava, Kumbhi/कुंभी
Ficus Glomerulata - Cluster Fig/उंबर, औदुंबर
Ficus Religiosa - Peepal, Sacred Fig/पिंपळ, अश्वत्थ
Ficus Virens - White Fig/लघुपिंपरी, पायर, पाईर
Hardwickia Binata - Anjan/अंजन
Heterophragma Quadriloculare - Waras/वारस
Helicteres Isora - Indian Screw Tree/मुरुडशेंग, केवण
Hibiscus Tilaceus - Sea Hibiscus/बेलिपता
Holarrhena Pubescens - Indrajao, Kurchi Tree/इंद्रजव, पांढरा कुडा
Lagerstroemia Indica - Crape Myrtle, Common Crape/सावनी
Lagerstroemia Parviflora - Crape Flower/लेंदीया, बोंडारा
Millingtonia Hortensis - Indian Cork Tree/बूच
Phoenix Sylvestris - Wild Date Palm/जंगली खजूर, शिंदी, खर्जूर
Prosopis Cineraria - Khejri Tree/शमी
Sesbania Grandiflora - Agati/हातगा, अगस्ति
Sesbania Sesban - Common Sesban/शेवरी, जयंती
Terminalia Arjuna -Arjun/अर्जुन
Terminalia Bellirica - Baheda/बेहडा, बिभितकी
Terminalia Catappa - Indian Almond/जंगली बदाम
Terminalia Chebula - Chebubic Myrobalan, Indian Gall Nut/हिरडा, हरीतकी
Terminalia Tomentosa - Indian Laurel/ऐन, सादड
Thespesia Populnea - Indian Tulip Tree/भेंडी, पारस-पिंपळ
Wrightia Tinctoria - Sweet Indrajao, Pala-Indigo/काळाकुडा, दुधी
Ziziphus Mauritiana - Indian Jujube, Indian Plum, Ber/बोर, बोरी

So next time when You pose in front of a camera, say "TREES!" instead! :-B)

Tree Terminal - Continued

Wild Guava or Kumbhi (Careya Arborea/कुंभी) is a moderate-sized, deciduous, beautiful tree having lovely aromatic white flowers & leaves which turn red in the cold season.
In India the tussar silkworm is fed on the leaves. As a fodder the fruit is given to cattle. It makes a good shade tree. This tree needs to be introduced to urban societies and home gardens.
It pacifies vitiated kapha, tumor, cough, bronchitis, worms, diarrhea, leukoderma, epilepsy and ulcers. The tree, especially the sepals of the flowers are well-known Indian remedies and are valued on account of their astringent & mucilaginous properties, being administered internally in coughs & colds and applied externally as an embrocation.
The bark yields a good fibre for coarse cordage and sacking. It is also used as a tan and a dye. The fibrous bark contains a brown dye.
It is propagated by seeds.
Labels: Agroforestry, Apiculture, Avenue, Deciduous, Drought Tolerant, Fast Growing, Fodder, Medicinal, Ornamental, Shade, Soil Reclamation, Urban

Arjun (Terminalia Arjuna/अर्जुन) is a large size deciduous tree having yellow flowers and conical leaves. Its fruit is fibrous woody, glabrous with 5 hard wings. It has a buttressed trunk and a vast spreading crown from which the branches drop downwards.
It gives green manure.
Arjun is one of the sacred tree of India. It has acquired the social and religious sanctity with the passage of time. It is said that Arjun has been born of the two sons of Kubera after Saint Narada cursed him. The leaves and flowers of this tree are offered to the Lord Vishnu and Lord Ganpati on the several religious occasions.
According to Ayurvedic texts it also very useful in the treatment of any sort of pain due to falls, ecchymosis, spermatorrhoea and sexually transmitted diseases. It is thought to be a useful astringent, cooling, aphrodisiac, cardiotonic, tonic and is used for ulcers, leucorrhoea, diabetes, cough, tumour, excessive perspiration, asthma, inflammation and skin disorders etc.
Arjun was introduced into the Materia Medica of Ayurveda as a treatment for heart disease by Vagbhata (7th century). Research suggests that it is useful in alleviating the pain of Angina Pectoralis and in treating heart failure and coronary artery disease.
It is propagated by seeds.
Labels: Avenue, Deciduous, Drought Tolerant, Fertilizer, Fodder, Medicinal, Ornamental, Sacred, Shade, Soil Reclamation, Urban, Wind Break

Baheda (Terminalia Bellerica/बेहडा, बिभितकी) is a large deciduous tree having greenish white, simple flowers which appear along with new leaves and have a strong honey-like smell. Also known as Bibhitaki, as it is said to make a person fearless from all types of diseases. It is a light demander and fairly drought resistant. It coppices well after pollarding.
The leaves are extensively used as fodder. yields a good-quality charcoal. The seeds have an oil content of 40%, whose fatty-acid methyl ester meets all of the major bio-diesel requirements in the USA, Germany and European Union.
It works in diseases of every system. The fruit rind is astringent, laxative, anthelmintic, pungent, germicidal and antipyretic. It is applied in a diverse range of conditions including cough, tuberculosis, eye diseases, anti-HIV-1, dyspepsia, diarrhoea, dysentery, inflammation of small intestine, flatulence, liver disease, leprosy, cleanse the blood and promote hair growth.. Fruit extracts have anti-bacterial activity against Micrococcus pyogenes and Escherichia coli.
The fruit produces tannins and dyes used for leather tanning, dyeing of clothes, matting and inks. The kernel produces a non-edible oil used in toilet soap and is good for hair.
It is grown as an avenue tree or as an ornamental.
It is propagated by seeds.
Labels: Agroforestry, Avenue, Biofuel, Coppiceable, Deciduous, Drought Tolerant, Fodder, Medicinal, Ornamental, Sacred, Shade, Soil Reclamation, Urban, Wind Break

Chebulic Myrobalan or Indian Gall-Nut (Terminalia Chebula/हिरडा, हरितकी) is a flowering evergreen tree.
It is highly regarded as the 'King of Medicines' in the Ayurvedic Medicine. It is reputed to cure blindness and is believed to inhibit the growth of the malignant tumours. It is allegedly also a powerful detox agent.
Haritaki is a rejuvenating, laxative, astringent, anthelmintic, nervine, expectorant, tonic, carminative and appetite stimulant. It is used in people having a wide range of complaints and symptoms like leprosy & skin disorders, anemia, narcosis, piles, chronic, intermittent fever, heart disease, diarrhea, anorexia, cough and excessive secretion of mucus.
According to the Bhavaprakasha, Haritaki was derived from a drop of nectar from Indra’s cup.
It is propagated by seeds.
Labels: Avenue, Drought Tolerant, Evergreen, Medicinal, Sacred, Shade, Soil Reclamation, Urban, Wind Break

Indian Almond (Terminalia Catappa/जंगली बदाम) is a tall, erect, deciduous & conspicuous tree. With a brilliant red-and-yellow display of leaf colour before shedding leaves and its fast growth, it is one of the favourite garden tree.
The kernel can be eaten raw or roasted and has an almond-like taste. The foliage can be used as a feed for silkworms and other animal feeds. It acts as a soil improver as it is a good provider of mulch for the protection of soil and young crops.
It is tolerant of drought & salt spray and is a promising species for reforestation of sandy areas. The trees vast root system binds together both sands & poor soils and prevents erosion.
The parts of the tree are useful for bilious fever, diarrhoea, thrush, as a dressing for swollen rheumatic joints and as a remedy for sores & abscesses. The young leaves are used to cure headaches and colic.
The trunk is a source of gum. In leaf all the year round, the tree casts a heavy shade that is useful in gardens, school grounds or urban areas.
It is propagated by seeds.
Labels: Agroforestry, Avenue, Coppiceable, Deciduous, Drought Tolerant, Fast Growing, Fertilizer, Fodder, Food, Medicinal, Ornamental, Shade, Soil Reclamation, Urban, Wind Break

Indian Laurel (Terminalia Tomentosa/ऐन, सादड) is a large deciduous tree. It is casually known as Crocodile Bark tree due to the characteristic bark pattern.
The leaves can be used as fodder & even fed to silkworms.
It has a remarkable attribute; it may store water in the dry season. A survey conducted at Bandipur National Park, India showed that a proportion of trees store water and there is a girth dependent increase in the frequency and amount of water. Water stored in the stem is often tapped and used as a source of potable water in the summer by forest folk. It is also thought to have curative value for stomach pain.
The parts of the tree are used medicinally. This tree needs to be introduced to urban area.
The fruit yields tannin to dye and tan leather.
It is propagated by seeds.
Labels: Avenue, Deciduous, Drought Tolerant, Fodder, Medicinal, Ornamental, Shade, Soil Reclamation, Urban, Wind Break

Marking Nut (Semecarpus Anacardium/ बिब्बा, भिलावा) is a highly medicinal, deciduous tree with beautiful foliage.
The nut yields a powerful and bitter astringent principle used everywhere in India as a substitute for marking ink. It gives a black colour to cotton fabrics. The fruits are also used as a dye.
They are also largely employed in Indian medicine. The fleshy cups on which the nuts rest and the kernels of the nuts are eaten.
A varnish is prepared from an acrid, viscid juice extracted from its bark.
It is propagated by seeds.
Labels: Agroforestry, Avenue, Deciduous, Drought Tolerant, Medicinal, Ornamental, Sacred, Shade, Soil Reclamation, Urban, Wind Break

Calotropis or Sodom Apple (Calotropis Procera/रुई) is a small tree having beautiful flowers. It is drought-resistant & moderately salt-tolerant species. It is a food source of the larval stage of the Lesser Wanderer Butterfly.
It is a source of green manure. The plant can help improve soil water conditions and also acts as a soil binder. It also helps in Pollution control as it is an ideal plant for monitoring Sulphur Dioxide emissions in the air. It is a suitable indicator of exhausted soil.
It is considered sacred and flowers are devoted to God Hanumanta.
The tree has numerous medicinal properties, mainly used in the treatment and cure of leprosy and elephantiasis. It is also used as an anthelmintic, for colic, cough, whooping cough, dysentery, headache, lice treatment, jaundice, sore gums & mouth, toothache, sterility, swellings and ulcers.
It is propagated by seeds.
Labels: Avenue, Drought Tolerant, Evergreen, Fast Growing, Fertilizer, Medicinal, Ornamental, Sacred, Soil Reclamation, Urban

Crown Flower or Giant Calotrope (Calotropis Gigantea/रुइटी, आक, अर्क) is a fast-growing, attractive, evergreen small tree having beautiful flowers. The plant can flower all year round, but the main flowering is in the summer. It is a drought- resistant species which plays host to a variety of insects and butterflies.
As it thrives upon soils where nothing else will grow, needing neither culture nor water, it has been considered a good plant for bringing waste land under tillage and for reclaiming drifting sands. The leaves can be used for mulching, green manuring of rice fields and for binding sandy soil. The plant is sometimes grown as a hedge.
It can be cultivated as an ornamental species. The plant is of great religious significance in India, where it is sacred to the Lord Shiva and hence its flowers are offered to the God for gaining God's blessings.
The plant is harvested from the wild for a wide range of uses, but is especially valued as a medicinal plant and source of fibre.
It is propagated by seeds.
Labels: Avenue, Drought Tolerant, Evergreen, Fast Growing, Fertilizer, Medicinal, Ornamental, Sacred, Soil Reclamation, Urban

Tree Terminal

Trees... Indian trees are famous for their majesty and grandeur.
Now we have got acquainted with various Native Trees of India. You must have noticed few of them in your neighbourhood, excited to observe some wonderful trees or must be surprised to see some trees that are new to You! But still there are few trees prevalent in wild which need to get attention from tree-lovers. So here is the collection of trees that are not showcased on our blog till now.. Trees that we need to know..!

Phalsa (Grewia Asiatica/ फालसा) is a small deciduous tree. It is very hardy & capable of existing under severe conditions.
The ripe fruits are eaten as a dessert. Their taste and flavour are very much liked. A refreshing drink prepared from the juice, commonly known as Phalsa Sherbet, is considered a delicacy throughout the hot summer months. 
According to Ayurveda, the fruits are a cooling tonic & aphrodisiac; they allay thirst & burning sensations, remove biliousness, cure inflammation, heart & blood disorders and fevers. The fruit is also good against throat trouble. The bark is used as a demulcent. It cures urinary troubles and relieves burning sensation. The leaves also are used medicinally, chiefly for external applications.
The tree improves the soil. It has been proved that the plantations of Phalsa increased organic Carbon, available Nitrogen, Phosphorus & Potassium in the soil and reduced Calcium Carbonate, pH & bulk density due to litter production greater than that of other fruit trees.
It is propagated by seeds. 
Labels: Agroforestry, Apiculture, Avenue, Deciduous, Drought Tolerant, Fast Growing, Fertilizer, Food, Medicinal, Ornamental, Shade, Soil Reclamation, Urban

Sandalwood (Santalum Album/चंदन) is a small, beautiful, drought-hardy evergreen tree. It is the state tree of Karnataka. It has small catchy flowers. Its branches grow densely & are capable of intercepting high wind velocity, thus protecting crops.
It is sometimes lopped for fodder; the foliage is palatable to grazing animals such as rabbits, sheep, goats, cattle, pigs, horses & camels.
The tree is planted in house gardens as an ornamental. It can be planted along hedges and field boundaries. It acts as a Soil improver, leaves make good green manure.
The tree has medicinal properties and is widely used in cosmetics.
It is propagated by seeds.
Labels: Agroforestry, Avenue, Evergreen, Drought Tolerant, Fertilizer, Fodder, Medicinal, Ornamental, Shade, Soil Reclamation, State Tree, Wind Break, Urban

Crape Jasmine (Tabernaemontana Divaricata/चांदणी) is a small, wonderful, evergreen tree. It blooms in spring but flowers throughout the year. The waxy blossoms are white five-petaled pinwheels that are borne in small clusters on the stem tips. Flowers are commonly used in Pooja in North and South India.
The tree pacifies vitiated vata, pitta, diseases of the eye, headache, skin diseases, bleeding disorder, itching, and arthritis.
This beautiful tree rather fast rate of growth makes it a good plant for new gardens, especially shady ones where it provides structure and form. This plant's best feature is its delightful fragrance which got it the name of Crepe Jasmine, even though it is not related to the true Jasmines.
It is propagated by cuttings.
Labels: Avenue, Evergreen, Fast Growing, Live Fencing, Medicinal, Ornamental, Shade, Soil Reclamation, Urban

Teak/Indian Oak (Tectona Grandis/साग) is a deciduous tree, having small, beautiful fragrant white flowers and papery leaves. Teak is not a garden plant, but is a very important candidate in an ecosystem. Due to its tall growing nature, it is a preferred roosting and nesting site for number of birds.
Teak is used as a food plant by the larvae of moths of the genus Endoclita including E. aroura, E. chalybeatus, E. damor, E. gmelina, E. malabaricus, E. sericeus and E. signifer and other Lepidoptera including Turnip Moth. :-)
According to Ayurveda, it is acrid, cooling, laxative, sedative to gravid uterus and useful in treatment of piles, leucoderma and dysentery. Flowers are acrid, bitter and dry and useful in bronchitis, biliousness, urinary discharges etc. Roots are useful in treatment of urinary system related troubles. According to Unani system of medicine, the oil from flower is hair promoter and useful in scabies.
It is propagated by seeds.
Labels: Agroforestry, Avenue, Coppiceable, Deciduous, Drought Tolerant, Fast Growing, Fertilizer, Fodder, Medicinal, Ornamental, Soil Reclamation, Urban

Sal (Shorea Robusta/साल) is tall, handsome semi-evergreen tree. It is the state tree of both Jharkhand & Chhattisgarh.
In Hindu tradition, the Sal is said to be favored by Lord Vishnu. The Sal is an object of worship among Buddhists and Hindus in India as well as the adjoining countries. The legend has it that the famous Lumbini tract where Lord Buddha had sat for meditation and acquired salvation constituted a thick forest of Sal trees.
The leaves can be used as roughage for cattle and are fed to a tasar silk-producing worm.
The dry leaves of Sal are a major source for the production of leaf plates and leaf bowls in Northern and Eastern India. The used leaves/plates are readily eaten by goats and cattle. The tree has therefore protected Northern India from a flood of Styrofoam and plastic plates that would have caused tremendous pollution.
Sal tree resin is used as an astringent in Ayurvedic medicine. It is also burned as incense in Hindu ceremonies and Sal seeds & fruit are a source of lamp oil & vegetable fat.
It is propagated by seeds.
Labels: Agroforestry, Avenue, Coppiceable, Drought Tolerant, Evergreen, Fast Growing, Fertilizer, Fodder, Medicinal, Sacred, Shade, Soil Reclamation, State Tree, Urban, Wind Break

Hingon (Balanites Aegyptiaca/हिंगणबेट) is a spiny, evergreen, small tree with rounded, dense crown.
It coppices & pollards well & can regenerate after lopping & heavy browsing. The fresh & dried leaves, fruit and sprouts are all eaten by livestock. Kernel meal, the residue remaining after oil extraction can be also used as stock feed. As a thorny tree, it is useful for fencing, boundary and amenity plantings. It produces high-quality charcoal.
The usually evergreen behaviour potentially makes the tree an attractive element to introduce into shelterbelts.
The kernels produce edible oil used for cooking. The oil remains stable when heated and has a high smoking point. Its scent and taste are acceptable.
Medicinally, decoction of root is used to treat malaria. Many parts of the tree are used against oedema, stomach pains, heartburn, chest pains. In wild, many carnivores and even herbivores utilizes the fruit for deworming. It is also used to deworm cattle in many parts of India.
A greenish-yellow to orange-red resin is produced from the stems which is useful in industrial work.
It is propagated by seeds.
Labels: Agroforestry, Avenue, Coppiceable, Drought Tolerant, Evergreen, Fast Growing, Fertilizer, Fodder, Live Fencing, Medicinal, Ornamental, Shade, Soil Reclamation, Urban, Wind Break

Black Ebony or Tendu (Diospyros Melanoxylon/ टेंभूर्णी, तेंदू) is drought & frost hardy deciduous tree. It is light-demanding & coppiceable, tolerance to pruning makes it a good fodder tree. Its fruit is edible & is delicious.
Its cultivation on field boundaries or distributed in field crops, such as oilseed and cereal crops, appears to be a feasible and attractive proposition. Its deep tap-rooting habit would minimize competition with annual crops. It gives good quality charcoal.
The tree has been revered in Ayurvedic medicine. The seeds have been prescribed as a cure for mental disorders, nervous breakdowns and palpitations of the heart. The fruits have a cooling and an astringent effect. Dried flowers are reportedly useful in urinary, skin and blood diseases. The bark is astringent; its decoction is used in diarrhoea.
It is propagated by seeds.
Labels: Agroforestry, Avenue, Coppiceable, Deciduous, Drought Tolerant, Fast Growing, Fertilizer, Fodder, Food, Live Fencing, Medicinal, Ornamental, Shade, Soil Reclamation, Urban, Wind Break

Chaste tree (Vitex Negundo/निर्गुंडी) is a small tree with bluish-purple, small flowers. It grows fairly fast & is coppiceable. Its leaves have insecticidal properties and are laid over stored grain to ward off insects. They are also used to get rid of mosquitoes. But at the same time, the leaves serve as fodder plant for some butterflies. 
Its roots are strong, deep and suckers profusely. It can be used as a contour hedge in sandy arid areas for soil retention and moisture conservation.
The plant can be used for afforestation, especially for reclamation of forest lands which are affected by floods and in arid areas.
All parts of the plant are commonly used in Indian medicine. Leaves possess discutient properties and are applied to rheumatic swellings of the joints and in sprains. They are aromatic and are smoked for relief of headache and catarrh and a decoction is employed in smoke baths for the treatment of febrile, catarrhal and rheumatic affections. The leaves show anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fungal activity. Roots are used in local medicine for dysentery and are anthelmintic, flowers are astringent & fruits are considered vermifuge.
It is propagated by cuttings.
Labels: Agroforestry, Avenue, Coppiceable, Drought Tolerant, Evergreen, Fast Growing, Fodder, Live Fencing, Medicinal, Ornamental, Pesticidal, Soil Reclamation, Urban, Wind Break

Anjan (Hardwickia Binata/अंजन) is a moderate-sized deciduous ornamental tree which bears yellowish green flowers. It grows fairly fast.
Its leaves can be used as fodder or green manure. Mycorrhizal nodulations that fix atmospheric Nitrogen are noticed on the roots.
The tree thrives in a dry climate & is capable of establishing itself and growing on dry shallow soil & rocky ground where most other species would succumb. This is due partly to the early development of the taproot & the ability to penetrate hard soil & fissures in solid rock and partly to its ability to withstand mutilation.
The bark yields a strong fibre largely employed for making ropes.
It is propagated by seeds.
Labels: Agroforestry, Avenue, Deciduous, Drought Tolerant, Fast Growing, Fertilizer, Fodder, Nitrogen Fixing, Ornamental, Shade, Soil Reclamation, Urban, Wind Break

                                                                  To be continued...