Time to Plant Variegated Species of Trees, say Experts

 - Sakshi Post

 International Day for Biological Diversity is a United Nations-sanctioned day observed on May 22 for the promotion of biodiversity.    

What exactly does ‘biodiversity’ stand for?

According to Grow-Trees.com, a social organisation responsible for planting millions of trees across India, biodiversity is the biological variety of life on earth that includes variation at the level of genetics, species, and ecology.  Without biodiversity, the planet and by default the human race cannot exist in a state of balance, health, and sustainability.

Because of habitat degradation, ceaseless developmental activities, anthropogenic emissions, deforestation, and disrespect for other life forms, human beings are today facing the consequences of taking more from the Earth than they have given back.

Grow-Trees.com says, for an abundant and peaceful ecosystem, every citizen can do something as simple as planting a tree. And celebrate biodiversity by planting variegated species of trees that we have access to in India. The organisation has planted a rich variety of local trees in their projects across India including  Mahua, Teak, Shisham, Babul, Neem, Banyan, Peepal, and lesser-known varieties like Paanisaj, Kachnar, Garmada, Saaj, Pasur, and many more.

Mr. Bikrant Tiwary, the CEO of Grow-Trees.com says planting local trees in contextual locations that are appropriate for them is as important as planning diverse plantation drives. And shares five examples to show how even the most common varieties of trees  can add not just to the biodiversity around us but make us healthier:

Lemon tree: Plant lemon and be stunned by the power-packed in this small evergreen tree that reaches up to 11 feet in height and offers flowers and ripe fruits at the same time. Every part of the fruit is usable, be it the juice, the pulp or the rind. Lemon juice is even used widely in educational science experiments and contains unique flavonoid compounds that have antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. Lemon also helps our skin, digestive and immune system because of its high Vitamin C content.
 
Amla tree: Amla or  Indian gooseberry is known for remarkable remedial qualities and is another small to medium-sized tree that has a limitless abundance. The amla fruit contains more than 80% of water and also has protein, carbohydrates, fibre, minerals, and vitamins. It also contains gallic acid which is a potent polyphenol.  Just 100 gms of amla gives us over 700 mg of Vitamin C.  It is also considered to be nature's best antioxidant.

Drumstick tree: Drumstick or  Moringa Oleifera is one of the most cultivated trees in India.  It is a small shrub or tree that can reach 12m in height and can live for up to 20 years. With increasing emphasis on healthy eating, it is being projected as a  nutrition powerhouse. Fast-growing and drought-resistant; it offers itself from roots to the leaves, for our benefit and in developing countries, it has the potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development, and support sustainable Landcare.  

Shikakai tree: Shikakai or Acacia concinna is a climbing shrub common in the warm plains of central and south India. The pods of this plant are rich in saponins and the dried fruits are used widely to manufacture herbal hair care products. No wonder then,   ‘Shikakai’ literally translates as "fruit for the hair”. An infusion of the leaves is also used to combat malarial fever. A decoction of the pods relieves biliousness and acts as a purgative. It is also used to remove dandruff.  

Bamboo tree:  These are perennial evergreen flowering plants and boast great economic and cultural importance. Architects around the world are waking up to their value as a sustainable and versatile building material. They are also a pliant raw material for crafts and home products. Known to be one of the fastest-growing plants in the world, they are a perfect solution for alleviating many environmental and social problems, including the consequences of tropical deforestation. Bamboo groves are also an important part of the forest ecosystem and also work effectively as carbon sinks.

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