13 February 2020

Hairy (ThursdayTreeLove)

Ficus is a species indigenous to our country and I found 35 different species of ficus on the Flowers of India website.

Amazing indeed! 

Today I have a Ficus microcarpa from the Deccan College in Pune. It is also called 'Nandruk' in Marathi. It grows to be a massive shady tree and boasts these delicate hair like aerial roots. These are very unlike thick aerial roots that develop on Ficus benghalensis . Its leaves and these thin aerial roots can easily help shortlist ID of this Ficus. Ficus microcarpa is a good choice to make into a Bonsai as well.

Along with Peepal and Ficus benghalensis, this Ficus species is seen frequently in Pune. Have you noticed it in your city? How many Ficus varieties have you spotted? The different species can be individually identified based on their leaves, inflorescence (Figs), aerial roots etc. All Ficus belong to the Moraceae family. Typically they exude a milky latex from the stem/bark if its cut and this feature is an important clue for family level identification when on the field. (Milky latex also seen in some members of Euphorbiaceae and Anacardiace families.)

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove bloghop. Do head over  to see some lovely trees from around the world. Better still, join in!

23 January 2020

Towering (ThursdayTreeLove)


What is it that strikes you first in the above image from Leh?
The snow clad peaks in the background, or the cloudy sky and or is it the trees? 

Leh has a rugged terrain surrounded by the mighty Himalayas and the ground is covered with flora that can survive in the bitter cold. Apple, Apricot, Seabuckthorn are a common wondrous sight but these towering lean Poplars are equally eye catching. 

These are most likely the Populus nigra trees belonging to the Salicaceae family. (The same family as Willows). Male and female flowers are borne on different trees but the flowering season was some time away when I visited. 

Here are a couple more images of this wonderful tree. 

Straight trunk bole

Leaves
Have you visited Leh? Did you notice these towering Poplars? Here is a list of some landmark trees of Leh. 

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove blog hop. Do head over to see some fantastic trees from around the world. Bette still, join in!

10 January 2020

Fragrant Twenties (ThursdayTreeLove)

The title must have surely intrigued you.. The image above is of a young Chandan .. Yes Sandalwood.. This species grows quite commonly on the hills of Pune and even in the city. Here are its flowers which are little smaller than a grain of Arhar Dal.. 
Flowers 
Chandan belongs to the Santalaceae family. Its botanical name is Santalum album. Another amazing fact about this tree is that it begins its life as a root parasite. The young seedling draws nourishment from specific host plants (for example Lantana, Morinda pubescens, Neem) but the hosts are not damaged. 
Thereafter it grows independently. 
Evergreen tree with opposite leaves
The tree has huge medicinal value. Its wood is yellowish, soft and used to carve decorative items. 
Fruit 
Chandan is famous for its fragrance but surprisingly, these flowers are not fragrant. Nor the leaves or bark at the age these images have been taken. The tree develops its fragrant oils only when it is about 25 years old. 

Aha.. hence the title :-) 
Have you seen the Chandan tree or its beautiful delicate flowers? 
I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove blog hop. Do head over to see amazing trees from around the world. Better still, join in! 

Have a wonderful healthy happy and prosperous 2020 everyone!! 

26 December 2019

Success (ThursdayTreeLove)

My city of Pune faces slow moving traffic every day as the existing roads become too small for the burgeoning number of vehicles. To accommodate them, roads are widened or new ones built which may require cutting trees. 

Nature lovers rightly protest such tree removals but a solution to the traffic has to be found. Tree transplantation is an option in some cases. 

I had only read about it but never actually seen the transplanted trees. 

On a particularly long walk a couple of years ago, I spotted these huge Ficus with profuse budding and a strangely lopped off trunk. A little survey of the surroundings suggested that these  trees may have been transplanted for road/Metro works ... The burst of young leaves suggested that the move was a success! 



There were several such tree trunks all planted in a row alongside a broad path. Notice that all branches had been cut off, just the main bole was planted

This trunk obviously seems to have been put into a hole meant to accommodate the tree

The root ball of this tree had a wet cloth tied around it 
A helmet forgotten by one of the workers perhaps...

Obviously transplanting trees must be a costly project and the tree may not survive the move. Plus, if the tree is really old its roots may have invaded underground pipes, cables etc so uprooting would have the ensure these systems are not damaged.

Seeing these trees was most heartening. The move seemed to have succeeded. 

What is your take on tree cutting for road widening? What is a Golden Middle Solution for the infrastructure stress issues that face our cities?

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove blog hop. Head over to see some fantastic trees from around the world, and better still, join in! 
This is the last TTL post for 2019. Happy New Year everyone and have a 'tree'mendous 2020! :-) :-)

12 December 2019

Coexistence (ThursdayTreeLove)

Anyone who goes tree spotting is sure to have noticed that some trees become 'host' to other plants ...
I mean that other species grow on this main or mother tree either for support or nutrition - this is a normal phenomenon seen in Nature ..peaceful coexistence.. take and give support when needed and when it can be given!

Here is a massive old Bougainvilla and a Monstera growing on a Neem tree. In fact it was the gnarled warty trunk that caught our attention and it took us quite a while to identify the Bougainvilla. We had to follow the trunk like way up to the top before the pink-purple blaze of flowers gave away its identity. The carpet of pink flowers were yet another clue!


Tree Walk, Pune, Bogan


Walk, Nature, Health

What clues do you look for to identify a plant? Have you experience the tremendous satisfaction and joy of identifying a tree/herb/shrub? 

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove blog hop. Do head over to see some fantastic trees from around the world. Better still, join in!

28 November 2019

Graceful (ThursdayTreeLove)

Travel, trees, Bhutan, Willow

"We have nothing to fear and a great deal to learn from trees, that vigorous and pacific tribe which without stint produces strengthening essences for us, soothing balms and in whose company we spend many cool silent intimate hours."

Marcel Proust

Willows are beautiful graceful trees and I saw these growing by the roadside in Thimpu..  Their drooping branches swayed in the breeze as if welcoming us to this wonderful country! They were a common species in most parts we visited and just watching them made my mind relax and calm. 

Willows belong to the  Salix genus of the Salicaceae family. They grow in moist soils and are dioecious (meaning male and female flowers are borne on separate plants). 

Have you seen these graceful trees in your city or in your travels?

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove Bloghop. Do head over to see some wonderful trees from around the world. Better still, join in! 

14 November 2019

White Beauty (ThursdayTreeLove)

This glorious tree stood out from a distance even as I craned my neck out of the window.. The white blossoms stood out even against the white clouds in the background. Of course, its the glorious Magnolia in full bloom! Even after getting closer to the tree, my humble phone camera could not capture a decent image (that I could post here) as the flowers stood high up on the branches.  


Magnolia, Travel, Bhutan
Magnolias belong to the Magnolia genus of the Magnoliaceae family. There are some interesting things to read about the Magnolia genus and I wont like to take up your time here.. Do head over to this Wikipedia page for more.

Either way, this sighting was a temporary satisfaction of a long time wish to see this beautiful tree. I hope I get another opportunity for a closer view of this White Beauty ...

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove bloghop. Do head over to see some glorious trees from around the world. Better still, join in!