image005

Top 8 Awesome Trees That You Did Not Know Existed

We have all been to the forest and seen the typical oak, beech or walnut tree. But we can go so far as to say that not many among you have seen an abundance of exotic trees; if we are wrong, congratulations!

From the age-old baobabs located in Madagascar to the vividly-colored cherry blossom trees located in Japan, all exotic trees bear testament to the world’s unparalleled diversity. Once you see our selection of exotic trees across the world, you will instantly turn into a dendrophile.

Without further ado, let’s see the top 8 list!

1. The General Sherman Tree – Sequoia National Park, California
If you think that this tree has a military resonance to it, you are right. It was named after general William Tecumseh Sherman in 1879, by naturalist James Wolverton. It is the biggest attraction in the Sequoia National Park, largely due to its extremely grandiose appearance.

It also claims the moniker of the largest currently living tree in the world. Much to the disappointment of Americans, it is unfortunately not the largest, nor the widest, nor the oldest tree that ever existed on Earth. Each distinction belongs to three different trees.

2. Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar
Baobabs are probably nature’s answer to the big and imposing Greek and Roman statues scattered all across Europe. The Avenue of the Baobabs is nestled in western Madagascar, and consists of a collection of unevenly-distributed baobab trees across a dirt road.

Groups of tourists all around the world gather up in large numbers to walk down the road and catch a glimpse of the magnificence of the trees. So what are you waiting for, book your plane tickets now!

3. Socotra Dragon Tree – Yemen
This tree can be found in large numbers in the Socotra archipelago, which is a group of 4 islands belonging to Yemen, a country located in the Arabian Peninsula. Indeed, the tree does not really resemble a dragon, but its fruit is the reason why it’s named this way.

The small and fleshy berries exude a vivid red resin, which is known as “The Dragon’s Blood”. Locals use the resin as a sort of cure-all, and its uses range from curing general wounds to lowering bad fevers.

4. Cherry Blossom Trees – Tokyo, Japan
There is probably nothing as gorgeous and breathtaking as the spring cherry blossom in Tokyo, as well as in other parts of the country.

It’s true that cherry trees are definitely not exclusive to the archipelago, but in Japan cherry blossom trees are a cultural thing and will often be found exhibited in various displays and festivals.

5. The Dark Hedges – Northern Ireland
The Dark Hedges is a group of beech trees planted by an Irish family in the 18th century, forming a long avenue to take a stroll on. It is one of the most visited natural phenomena in Ireland, both by Irish tourists and international tourists. It has also been depicted in various movies and TV series, such as Game of Thrones (it’s the road leading to King’s Landing)

6. Methuselah – California
Methuselah is one of the oldest currently living trees in the world, located in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountains of California.

Until recently, this tree was said to be the oldest living tree in the world, but another tree has been discovered, and experts say is well over 5,000 years old. Nobody knows exactly where the tree is located for fear of vandalism.

image004

7. Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree – Hawaii
This tree is a little more special compared to what we have presented thus far, and for good reason. Simply look at the surreal and garish colors on the trunk and your head will swim instantly. It’s not often that you can see a tree with so much natural blue, purple or orange colors.

The peak growth of this tree is over 200 feet (roughly 60 meters). You can find it in various Hawaii regions, including but not limited to New Britain, New Guinea, and Sulawesi.

8. Wisteria – Japan
Here we have another Japanese tree. Well, it’s not exactly a tree, but rather a vine, whose branches have grown so fast since 1870 that they have a hard time supporting their own weight.

A steel structure has been built recently to allow the tree (read: vine) to grow continuously, and to allow visitors to enjoy a wonderful experience.

gardening

Here’s How to Garden In Dry Weather Conditions

Many regions across the world are deeply affected by severe drought. Some regions are affected temporarily (for instance, during summer), while other regions are affected all year round.

People who fall in the latter category do not see any point in trying to garden because they believe they can’t reap the benefits of their labor – literally and figuratively.

With wells and reservoirs running dry, the most serious issue that arises is how you can make sure that your plants are happy and most importantly healthy with little water supply.

Think like a plant
The first thing you need to get accustomed with is how a plant deals with water. I will tell you a little bit about how a plant absorbs, uses, and eliminates the water. Once you get the hang of it, you will think of gardening as a very fun activity to partake in daily.

Absorbing water
Most common plants absorb little to no water through their leaves. This process is almost completely handled by the roots of the plant, acting like slot sites. The more roots a plant has, the better it absorbs water. In order to make sure that there is a well-developed root system pushing out into the soil, you must ensure that the soil is capable of providing proper growth conditions. Here’s what you need to do:

Prepare the soil
Make sure that it has an optimal PH level (5.5-7 range)
Add organic fertilizers (peat moss, shredded leaves, compost, etc.)
Add nonorganic fertilizers (to keep nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium levels in check)

If you add organic fertilizers, the soil will be able to retain much more moisture. You can do a little experiment: water the soil before and after you have applied organic fertilizers, and you’ll see that much more water is being retained in the latter scenario.

Eliminating the Water
If plants do not absorb much water through their leaves, they do eliminate almost all of it through their leaves – almost 99%. In botany, this process is referred to as transpiration, and is a necessary part of the plant’s metabolic process. It is also the only process that allows them to cool themselves in hot weather.

Your goal here is to minimize the amount of water that plants lose in order to cool themselves. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all guide on this. The best advice I can offer is to plant your plants in strategic areas, like under a tall tree or bigger plants. Whatever you do, make sure your plants get a little shade.

Don’t panic if you notice the leaves becoming droopy – that is in fact a natural self-defense mechanism. Once the sun sets, the leaves will perk up to their normal look.

Now that you know how a plant absorbs and eliminates water, let’s pore over a few ways to make sure that your plants get the best treatment possible

Weed out any weeds
Weeds compete with your plants to get as much water, nutrients, and light as they can. Handpick weeds when they’re about 2 to 3 inches tall, or at least make sure that they don’t get any water and light and they will slowly wither.

Whatever you do, make sure their seeds do not spread in the garden and multiply – it will be much harder to deal with the situation.

Reduce the number of plants in your garden
When you are finished eliminating the weeds in your garden, you should also consider planting fewer plants. This may or may not be necessary depending on how harsh your climate is, but it never hurts to have less competition anyway.

image008 - Here’s How to Garden In Dry Weather Conditions

Harvest on time
Don’t leave your plants in the boiling sun for too much time. Handpick them at their peak of growth and flavor. This comes in handy with any type of gardening, and not only dry gardening.

Water efficiently
Always irrigate the plants at their base, so that the water can easily go through the soil directly to the roots.

Collect as much rainwater as you can
For instance, you can capture rainwater from rain gutters in large garbage cans under rainspouts, which can be used to make compost tea. However, keep in mind that in some countries rainwater harvesting may be illegal.

For example, in the United States, 9 states do not allow you to collect water because it’s “state property”. Always make sure you comply with your local laws before trying to collect water.