Thursday, August 4, 2011
Can you spot the single ripe olive in the photo?
Just when I thought that I had finished with describing some of the most useful trees on Earth, I realized that I have written nothing about the Olive tree, one of the most useful trees on our planet. The olive has been providing food, medicine and wood to humans for millenniums. The tree provides an edible and cooking oil of high quality known for its health giving properties and wonderful taste.
This tree is one of the most versatile and life giving trees on earth. It also appears to be a relatively new species of trees because despite the fact that it tolerates heat and cold well it has not yet spread widely across the planet. more research is required to select and develop varities for different climates. Olives belong to the botanical family Oleaceae that includes the ash, lilac and Jasmine.
Considerable research supports the health-giving benefits of consuming olives, olive leaf and olive oil. Leaves and flowers of this botanical family i.e those of olives, jasmine and lilac make an excellent tea. The wonderful fragrance of Jasmine and lilac is proof that this tree belongs to a heavenly family of trees- a gift of Mother Earth to mankind in particular since birds and animals do not particularly like its fruit. It is a symbol of peace, wisdom, glory, fertility and purity.
Now imagine that you live in a small hamlet beside a trout lake nestling between mountains forested with the trees described in this blog – Pines, Oak, Chestnuts, Cherries, apples, almonds, Olives, Mulberry, jackfruit and drumsticks with an undergrowth of roses, ferns, wild strawberries, clovers, soft mountain grasses, mushrooms, moss and assorted wild flowers – would it be a nice way to live or is the steel and concrete of you city better?
Photo is a public domain image from
Saturday, July 30, 2011
This blog is not just about trees but since I have written about some tree families, the descriptions would be incomplete without a mention of the Pine tree family (Pinaceae) and its close relatives cedars, firs and spruces, before I move on to other topics. These are amongst the oldest of trees on earth, long lasting companions of mother Earth. The oldest tree on earth is perhaps a spruce in Sweden that is about ten thousand years old. These are trees that bear cones instead of fruits and flowers and have needles instead of leaves.
To my mind a mountain landscape is incomplete without this tree. Nothing adds more grace, beauty, joy and wisdom to the surroundings. The usefulness of this tree for its wood and turpentine are well known. Its nuts are a delicious food source. Young new pine needles added to tea add vitamins C and A to the drink.
If a pine tree is cut down for commercial use please ensure that at least two more are planted to replace it. Not all trees survive into adulthood. If a tree is procured for Christmas then make sure it is dried later and the wood used as firewood. If that cannot be done then it is better to buy or prepare a live potted Christmas tree that can be planted out in the forest in spring.
A tree while it lives and after it is cut down spends its life in service of all other life by providing oxygen, food, shelter, beauty, peace and energy. In return for that it accepts humbly and gratefully whatever nature and other life grants. All trees especially long lived ones like pines illustrate the beauty, peace and joy that service to other life brings as opposed to merely selfish activity that some life may perhaps indulge in and some pseudo-philosophers like Ayn Rand attempt to justify. Such philosophers make pathetic and futile attempts to over come the inner voice and guilt as well as depression that inevitably follows selfishness as opposed to happiness produced through selfless activity. If other parts of nature such as trees followed the same selfish philosophy such humans would not survive for an instant.
This photo is a public domain image from