Support (ThursdayTreeLove)

Another set of photos from the Ross Island in the Andaman’s. Ficus trees are known and easily identifiable from their aerial roots. At times these from a ‘forest’ of sorts. At times they grow over and engulf any man-made structure that they grow beside or on. 

Over time, the roots almost completely cover up the cement and concrete and it becomes difficult to decide if the brick structure is supporting the tree or the tree is holding the bricks together!

See for yourself!

The Ficus trees growing in the temples at Angkor Wat in Cambodia are very famous and you may have seen pictures of them or even visited. 

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 with a photo of a tree that has caught your eye!

Canopy (ThursdayTreeLove)

Pune, Exotic tree, Avenue
Rain Trees are fairly common avenue trees in Pune. I have been told that these were planted specifically because their canopies give good shade and they grow very fast. Many have massive trunks that cover the entire footpath forcing pedestrians to walk onto the road. Some would take five people holding hands to ’embrace’ the tree!

I have always seen these huge trees from the ground up. Recently I saw their canopies almost at an eye level from the sixth floor of a building. The foliage looked absolutely amazing — almost like green waves rolling in towards  a beach! 

Roads, Trees, Raintree, albizia

Okkk that maybe a slight exaggeration but indeed the canopies are really beautiful.

Rain Tree (Albizia saman) is an exotic species in Pune and is found very commonly. It bears fragrant pink flowers that resemble Shireesh (Albizia lebbeck). This is but natural as the two are ‘cousins’ – botanically speaking. 

Some of the older neighbourhoods in the city boast such Rain Tree-lined roads and the street below get bathed in the filtered sunlight thus staying fairly cool.  Looking up, one can see a beautiful netted canopy created by the multiple branches and subbranches which glitters in the sun. 

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

Survivor (ThursdayTreeLove)

Going through old travel photos is a wonderful way to relive the experience. Often the albums throw up surprises – like identifying a flower or tree ..

A relook at my Andaman trip album threw up a few images of trees that have survived the all-destructive Tsunami that hit the region in 2004. 

On Ross Island, we saw this ancient Tree with an incredible root structure. It reminded me of the giant Silk Cotton tree in the Lalbagh Botanical Garden in Bengaluru. 
If you zoom into the photo, you can see what may be a strangling Ficus growing on one of the branches. 

An amazing tree that has stood the test of time and Nature’s Fury.

Ficus, Andaman, Trees

Ross, Ficus, Andamans, Tree
I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove bloghop. Do head over to see some amazing trees from around the world. 

Better still, if you have a photo of a tree that has caught your eye, then do join us in this bimonthly tree fiesta!

Stay healthy and happy folks!

The Sentinel (ThursdayTreeLove)

The hills in Pune are one of the prized gifts of Nature to this city. They offer a wonderful vantage point up above the homes and offices and factories below. Some parts of this land is held by the Forest Department, some of it is privately held and most have no proper internal roads other than one to reach the top.

Lack of easy access has been a boon of sorts as it has kept the area free for flora and fauna. Some of the trees growing are not seen in the city. Conversely, some trees that flourish in the city and elsewhere seem to struggle on the hills. A unique geology may be a contributory factor. 

One such example is some of the Ficus species especially Ficus benghalensis and Ficus religiosa. Among us bonsai growers in India,  Ficus is a very forgiving species – grows rapidly, does not grumble on hard pruning or wiring or root pruning and is happy in pots. 

Naturally, I expected the Ficus to flourish when planted out in the open. Yet it just about seems to survive on the hills, never really achieving the grand size that one associates with Ficus trees. The Vetal tekdi has a great Peepal near one of the Maruti temples and a huge Ficus bengalensis near the ARAI entrance – both pretty old. All other planted Ficus are just about six feet tall with not much branching or foliage or trunk girth. 

Happily, some days back I spotted this one – a Peepal – that has achieved a reasonable height and size. From its spot on the Vetal Tekdi, it seems to be watching over Pune and Punekars – a sentinel as it were..

Stay happy tree, hope to see you grow big and tall!

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove blog hop. Head over to see some fantastic trees around the world. If you have a tree that caught your eye, then do join in!

Middle Path (ThursdayTreeLove)

My walks have been taking me on a different route, the change being dictated by the incessant rains that render my usual path too slushy for a comfortable walk. These trees growing along the edge of the cut face of the hillside always caught my eye.  Their roots seem to have bored into the stone in a bid to stay alive, support life. 

The road we walk upon has been built by breaking up the slope of the hill. Each time it rains, there is extensive erosion and I wonder how long the trees will continue to live in this habitat. The hills of Pune are under a constant threat that goes under the name of  development. 
Clinging on
The trees have survived through vagaries of nature but can it withstand the onslaught of plans created by Man?

Of course we need roads but we also need our hills and trees. 
A golden middle path has to be found.

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

PS: This tree is the Boswellia serrata of the Burseraceae family.

Mad Tree (ThursdayTreeLove)

Our guide very apologetically said, “This is the Mad Tree”. I was stunned. In whatever little bit I have read about trees and their names, I had never come across this one.. 

It was a wonderful tree, with a graceful buttress and showed nothing that would have earned it this title of being ‘Mad’. 

In any tree, all leaves have the same shape but in this case, no two leaves are identical. This is said have earned it this name. It grows in the Acharya Jagdish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden in Kolkata and is the Buddha’s Coconut or Pterygota alata . 

Its an evergreen species native to India and grows to be very tall. A beautiful stately tree. 

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove blog hop. Head over to see some wonderful trees from around the world. 

Better still, join in!

Sea Change (ThursdayTreeLove)

These trees caught my eye in the peak of summer because it seemed as if their bare branches had intertwined to create a black and white painting! This effect continued even as I walked closer to the trees. 

Pune, hills, deciduous

This was on 23rd May 2018. 

Just a few days and a couple of showers later, both had undergone a sea change.. Here are the same two trees on the 18th June 2018. 

Trees, Pune, hills

Surprisingly the two-toned effect  continues even once trees are full of leaves. One had lighter green leaves and the one had dark green foliage.

The strangest part is that I have walked on this spot for so many years in all seasons, but it was only last month that I noticed the colours. The trees are beautiful both with and without foliage. 

Nature’s beauty is all around us at all times of the year. We only have to look.

I am joining Parul in her #ThursdayTreeLove blog hop. Head over to see some amazing trees from around the world. 

PS. Tree ID: The lighter coloured tree is a Dalbergia sp and the one with the dark bark is a species of Accacia.

The Great Banyan (ThursdayTreeLove)

Today I am taking the easy way out an recycling an earlier post… Maybe some of you have already read it but I will take my chances… 

I had read about two really huge Ficus trees – one at a place called Pemgiri in Maharashtra and one in the botanical garden in Kolkata. I had seen one with a massive spread in Puducherry as well. 

Today’s post is dedicated to a 250 year old Ficus tree growing at the Acharya Jagdish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden in Kolkata. The 1786-founded garden has a vast collection of lovely old trees. The main attraction is the Great Banyan (Ficus benghalensis) that is supported by  thousands of roots and is spread over five acres. Despite its loss of the main trunk in 1925, the Banyan is still ‘growing’ . The authorities have had to increase the protective perimeter built around it as the tree ‘walked’ eastwards!

Here are some images of The Great Banyan.

It stands on thousands of supporting roots

This video will give take you straight to this great tree.. 

Have you seen this beautiful tree? Do you know of any other large spread Banyan? 

I am joining Parul’s #ThursdayTreeLove41 blog hop. Do head over to see some amazing trees from around the world!

Cannon Ball Tree (ThursdayTreeLove)

Kailaspati, Lecyhidaceae, Couroupita

This beautiful tree with glorious fragrant flowers growing out of its main trunk goes by the unlikely common name “Cannon Ball Tree”. This is due to its large round fruit resembling cannon balls.  Its botanical name is Couroupita guianensis and the species has been introduced in India. The tree belongs to the Lecythidaceae family. 

The flowers are uniquely shaped almost like a Shivalinga. Hence the tree also goes by the common name Kailaspati. When plucked, the highly fragrant pretty flower stays fresh in a bowl of water for a day. 

In sharp contrast, the fruit is filled with a foul smelling substance. If you look closely, some fruit are visible and seem to be strung on the trunk. If one of them falls on someone’s head, it can cause an injury! 

Kailaspati is native to the Amazon rainforest but seems to be happy in India considering its gregarious flowering and fruiting! It grows to be quite tall and is an imposing sight!

I am joining Parul‘s #ThursdayTreeLove blog hop. Do head over to see some wonderful trees from around the world!

Twisted Trunk (ThursdayTreeLove)

Tree trunk, IUCCA, SPPU
Twisted trunk

What could have been the reason for this twisted tree trunk? Considering its pretty huge and old, and growing in the open, I am sure the curves must be natural.

One of my first posts on the ThursdayTreeLove was Sleeping Trees that I saw in Moscow. Just as I could not figure out the reason for those ‘sleeping’ trunks, I simply cant find an explanation for this.

Here is another image.

Bonsai artists often ‘wire’ trees for which they face a lot of criticism. Surely no such intervention was done here. Yet the trunk has acquired wonderful curves that simply will stop you in your tracks.

What do you think?

I am joining Parul in her #ThursdayTreeLove39 bloghop. Do head over to see some amazing trees from around the world.