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.
Trees are everywhere:
No one can tell where and when the first tree did sprout.
But we see them now everywhere on this earth. In arid deserts, there are trees though e few in number. In the equatorial belt, we find dense growth of trees. In the icy polar regions, there are no trees. We see trees of different sizes, shapes, and nature as dictated by the climate of the region. Trees are indeed a noble creation of Nature Today, Afforestation is badly needed for India.
Different kinds of trees:
Trees in regions receiving heavy rainfall are very tall. A tree competes with its neighbour to catch enough of sunshine. An oak tree is a huge tree. Trees in our climate look dwarfish in comparison to them. Pine trees are overgrown trees with needle-shaped leaves and cones. But there are other trees with open leaves. They shed their leaves in a particular season. The fruit of neem trees is bitter. They are not edible. But grapes hanging from a grapevine are delicious. Mangoes are sweet and palatable. Trees like banyan and peepul spread their branches like an umbrella and give us cool shade.
Again, there are trees, which are flowering but not fruiting. Still wonderful is that some trees do not give flowers and do not bear fruits. There are trees that are carnivorous by nature. Some trees are thorny. There are medicinal plants and trees. Thus, trees present many interesting characters. The more one ponders over their characteristics, the more he is surprised to see nature’s manifestations in them.
How do the trees serve humanity?
Trees are the first friends of men. Primitive men lived in the forests and got all means of sustenance from them. As civilization advanced, men’s dependence on the trees increased. For example, Paper is a prime need in modern society. Paper is made from wood pulp. Rubber is another thing I wanted most. This is available from a kind of tree. Treatment of diseases with the medicines made from medicinal plants has become popular.
Trees provide us with timber for furniture and twigs for firewood. Timbers are useful in a number of ways. Boxes, baskets, boats, ships, railway sleepers, etc are made from timber.
Trees, in their process of assimilating their food, give off oxygen for us to breathe in and consume the carbon dioxide we breathe out. The roots of a tree do not permit soil erosion. Trees prevent pollution of the atmosphere.
Trees beautify the world around us. We feed on their roots, stems, leaves, and fruits. The herbivorous animals also live on them. Huge chunk of animals are forest-dwellers. Trees also provide shelter to birds.
Our love for trees:
There are a number of tree lovers all over. This shows our understanding of their values and our reverence and gratitude for them. There is always a desire to plant trees as a part of our social and cultural celebrations. This tendency is on the rise.
However, we are cutting down trees daily. But it is a matter of regret that the thoughtless feeling of trees leads to large-scale deforestation. So the need of the hour is a public awakening against this menace made by men.
To make good the loss, we should plant more trees in a planned manner. This is called an afforestation. There can be no sizing of the family of trees. The more of them, the better. We should start the afforestation program today, for tomorrow may be too late.