Almost 40 percent of trees in sub-Saharan African are threatened. These are a few of the surprising facts outlined in a recent report explaining the current condition of trees. It serves as a five-year compilation of the Global Tree Assessment , which aims to assess the conservation status of every tree species in the world. Before the Global Tree Assessment was launched in , the total number of tree species in the world was unknown. Since then, 58, species have been catalogued, and of these, at least
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: The Largest Producers of Fresh Fruit in the WorldContent:
- Post navigation
- About Tree Top
- Dragon fruit
- Here's The Scoop On Jackfruit, A Ginormous Fruit To Feed The World
- This Tree Can Grow 40 Different Kinds of Fruit
- What is a Jackfruit? The Largest Tree-Born Fruit.
- Meet the Empress Splendor
Imagine a rainforest clothed in rising mist. A mystical place filled with life and the calls of many types of birds and animals. Steep verdant hills and valleys, cliff faces drop, splotched in tones of green! The sun rising over the expanse of the Amazon. Splashing water, chimera rainbow hues. Towering ice cap mountain peaks of the Andes stand firm in the west, golden in the morning light. These mountain slopes have given rise to marvelous biological diversity!
To understand Cacao, we must understand where she comes from—a place closest to the sun, where day and night are equal in length all year long. A vastly intricate union of thousands of species of plants, animals, insects, birds, fungi. When I sip Cacao, my heart softens, and I feel a heightened sense of willingness and patience. I can feel how she advocates balance in all my relationships.
Cascading water surges through rocky creeks finding its way to the meandering serenity of the larger rivers below. Palms, and myriad plants and trees with vastly diverse shaped leaves hug the banks. How can a relatively inconspicuous understory tree be so pregnant with wholesome goodness, so full of virtues, and so charged with mythologies? Why is cacao so revered that it has been used as money, medicine, antioxidant-rich superfood, incense, and for a variety of ceremonial offerings—to invoke responses from supernatural beings; to celebrate special moments and calendar markers such as the solstice and equinox; to sanctify weddings and births; to consecrate times of initiations and rites of passage; and as funeral offerings to accompany the dead on the afterlife voyage?
When we stretch our imagination to contemplate ancient creation myths that consider cacao not just a gift from the gods to humanity, but an actual component of our identity as humans, we can begin to understand. These narratives speak to the role of plants as an intimate part of the human fabric. Many other Central American creation myths postulate human origins in Cacao.
Ancient pottery depicts the Maya great mother Ix Chel , Lady of Translucent Rainbow Light, goddess of medicine, weaving, fertility, and the crescent moon, exchanging Cacao with the rain god Chaac , the patron of agriculture. Chockablock with history and cultural lore, legends have it that Cacao was gifted to early peoples by Quetzalcoatle , the Feathered Serpent itself, so that we may remain heart-centered and energetic. To the ancient peoples who grew and adored Cacao, this sacred crop was a Tree of Life uniting the quotidian world with the supernatural realms.
The ceremonial consumption and offering of Cacao symbolically connected individuals with the powers that govern their existence, with renewal and rebirth, and with the deities of creation. The bounty of the Cacao tree in Mesoamerica represents abundance, and her rounded fruit symbolize fertility. The deep spiritual meaning of Cacao crystalized her importance in all pre-Colombian societies that knew her. Cacao is a blessed, scrumptious elixir that has shaped and formed societies, igniting creation and urging us to evolve.
Cacao represents the fragile and delicately interconnected web of life, the majesty of biological diversity. She is the emblem for many great cultures. There are many things that she knows…. From these seeds grew the Cacao tree, and from its ripe pregnant fruit was born the first woman, who gave birth to the first man, and from there the first people came.
I devoted four years there that, in , successfully included Napo-Galeras mountain as part of the new Sumaco Napo-Galeras National Park.
Relatives of this family from other regions include fibrous, stimulant, and mucilage-bearing plants such as Cotton, Okra, Kola nut, Durian fruit, Hibiscus and Mallow. An impressive sight it is to see wild Cacao trees growing in their original setting, surrounded by a remarkably high concentration of related plants: Patas, or White Cacao, Theobroma bicolor , whose edible seeds are used to make chili sauce; T.
As we explored the forest collecting hundreds of botanical specimens, pressing plants late into the night, and collecting botanical information, more related species came to light. These were trees in the genus Matisia and Quararibea , both with fine edible fruits known as Sapote, and Herrania , a close cousin of Cacao , locally known asCambiac, distinguished by saturated maroon flowers with remarkably elongated petal-appendages and fine sweet-flavored pulp held in petite deeply furrowed pods.
Its young leaves are used medicinally, macerated in water to release mucilage, drunk to relieve constipation. We were not aware yet of the discovery we were about to make. Cacao has a fascinating natural history. Squirrels, the Tayra, a large, tree-dwelling weasel, and tropical relatives of the Raccoon, such as the Kikanjou, the Bushy-Tailed Olingo, and the elusive Cacomistle all feast on Cacao.
The Tropical Wet Forest is a festival of biodiversity, and soon our makeshift collection table overflowed with fruits and seed gathered on jungle forays. Cacao relatives growing in the region include the mighty silk cotton Kapok, the Ceiba pentandra , known locally as Uchuputu, a tree charged with mythology whose powerful outreaching branches offer habitat for worlds of life above the forest canopy; Kamotoa , a towering emergent tree with elegant buttress roots that was assigned its botanical name only later, in , Gryanthera amphibiolepis , that today is sadly vanishing due to unregulated and illegal logging that plagues the area; and the much-loved Balsa tree, the lightest known wood, Ochroma pyramidale , which contributes to regenerating the rainforest.
At our forest camp, Dr. Nowhere else has he seen such a dense assemblage of plants in the Malvaceae family.
This region undeniably is the origin site of Theobroma cacao , the chocolate tree! Theobroma microcarpum by The Field Museum , and the last 6 by the author.
We now know that Cacao originates in the upper Amazon at the base of the Andes in northwestern South America. How she became such an intricate part of Central America is mostly unknown. She was carried north, perhaps by nonhuman mammals, or by ancient human traders. The flow between oceans was blocked which rerouted currents, creating the Gulf Stream, warming the planet and provoking a surge in biological diversity.
Cacao may have been steadily moved by monkeys, rodents, and other mammals who adore its sweet pulp but leave behind the bitter seeds, slowly spreading North, East, South and West. Geneticist Omar E. Cornejo demonstrated that the oldest known domesticated Cacao strains in Central America actually originate in the Amazon. Central American peoples cultivated strains of Cacao that had been domesticated in the upper Amazon by Mayo-Chinchipe people thousands of years prior.
We know very little about the vanished Mayo-Chinchipe, an elaborate and ceremonial culture that lived for years at the base of the Andes, along the equator, in the wettest and most biodiverse part of the planet.
At the Santa Ana-La Florida archeological site in southeastern Ecuador, Claire Lanaud and Rey Loor dated residues found in stone and clay vessels as far back as years—the oldest-known evidence of Cacao use.
Spondylus and Strombus sea shells found at La Florida indicate there was trade between the Mayo-Chinchipe and coastal societies. Coastal peoples of ancient America were navigators and avid wanderers who traded knowledge and goods such as plant materials, salt, gold, and jade pendants up and down the Pacific coastline. Over years ago in Central America, Olmec people began cultivating Cacao, which they called Kakawa in their language that seems to be of the Mixe-Zoque family.
Though far younger than the Amazonian Mayo-Chinchipe people, the Olmecs were one of the Mesoamerican mother cultures, remembered by colossal stone head carvings and less recognized as the Cacao connoisseurs that they were.
From the Olmecs, the Mayas learned skills including jade carving and the cultivation and use of this fascinating plant. Cultural anthropologist Dr.
Michael J. The twins are reborn as two fish, offering a provocative insight into the metaphor of Cacao as a potent symbol for rebirth, movement, and water. Fins allow a fish to swiftly move through water as Cacao allows a person to swiftly rise, and Cacao grows in the regions of highest rainfall.
As full as Cacao is with cultural lore and history, it is with nutrients and minerals. Another peculiar alkaloid in Cacao is theobromine, having similar components as caffeine, but working more on relaxing our hearts.
These same flavonoids also aid in lowering blood pressure and act as a blood thinner preventing the risk of blood clots. Studies have also shown that Cacao can help people who have diabetes. It does this by lowering blood glucose and boosting insulin function, thus stabilizing blood sugar levels.
We all know the virtues of antioxidants. Studies have shown raw Cacao to have the highest known antioxidant levels of any known food supplement. Helping rid the body of free radicals that can lead to cancer. Cacao has also been shown to boost blood flow to the brain. More blood to the brain equals more oxygen to the brain, thus, people who eat pure raw cacao score better on memory tests. Ahh Cacao, indeed, the ultimate superfood! By the mid 17 th century, Cacao, introduced to Europe by the Spanish, became a popular beverage.
Plantations were established along tropical coastal regions of Africa. Today, West Africa is the world-leading producer of Cacao, at no light expense. The story of Cacao production in Africa is sadly not heart-warming, in ironic contrast to the effects of the chocolate that comes from them.
Others sources state even higher! Meanwhile, indigenous farmers producing Cacao live in extreme poverty, obliged to rely on child labor to serve giant corporations supplying Western demand.
Despite the Harkin-Engel Protocol, an agreement signed by major chocolate companies restricting the use of children to harvest cocoa beans, the crisis is still in full swing. In Ecuador, the origin place of Cacao, the tree is cultivated in the wettest regions at the base of the Andes, the pinnacle of biodiversity.
In western Ecuador, the Tropical Wet Forest has been almost completely obliterated for Cacao monoculture plantations, that now also suffers from blight. Dodson affirms that there are more species of wild Cacao protected there than at any other location on the planet. Despite the importance of conservation of the Tropical Wet Forest, big chocolate companies invest little back into protecting the gene bank of Cacao or improving the quality life of their farmers.
Deforestation of critical hot spots of mega-biodiversity and the crisis of childhood slavery on these plantations marks the dismal state that humanity has fallen in to. The Tropical Wet Forest is at the mercy of consumers—we must consciously step up and source Cacao appropriately, and not contribute to this nightmare. Driven by a passion for Cacao as a sacred crop, more and more small chocolate-producing companies are transforming the landscape.
Appropriately-sourced Cacao is filled with the zest of life, rich in antioxidants and minerals, and highly beneficial for human health. Cacao originates in the most biodiverse environment, not to be grown in monocultural plantations, but rather as a member of a diversified garden system.
She lends herself as a conduit for an ancient future, one that reaches forward to heal landscapes and redirects our present course by inspiring unity of ancient wisdom with the best of modern-day science.
Born at the summit of biological megadiversity, she exhorts that we must reach the peak of consciousness—to feel the joys and sorrows of others and of nature as if they were our very own. She teaches that without biological and cultural diversity, we parch the earth of her essence. This abundance that blesses so many must be cultivated. She gives and wants us to give back. In her silent invigorating essence, she whispers a vital message: Return to a heart-centered way of reciprocity.
Who does not serve, does not live. She holds this truth, trembling with humility and compassion, uneased that we risk failing to see things for how they simply are. That we might fall short in awakening our hearts to universal love and appropriate righteous passion, so needed for us to grow, heal and create solutions.
Plants contribute the largest chunk of what the world consumes, more than animals or the seas. A significant part of our diets consists of fruits, they make our bodies healthy, strong, and raise our immunity levels. The fruits we eat are harvested from fields across the world, and humans have billions of fruit trees to thanks for the constant supply of fruits. Fruits are produced by flowering plants; pomology study and cultivation of fruits divide fruits depending on the classification of the plant. Some are pome fruits such as pears and apples while some are stone fruits which include almonds, peaches, and cherries. Fruit trees vary in the amount of time it takes a plant to grow to the time it produces its first fruits. This article discusses some of the fruit trees that take the longest time to fruit.
World tree nut production at Million Metric Tons, dried fruit at amounting to million with the largest crop increments from.
As always, our nursery is centered on the rich history and future discoveries of our heirloom fruit trees. In Praise of Jujubes Like most undervalued treasures with beauty not outwardly expressed by appearance, the Jujube, or Chinese date, is a fruit tha Yes, we know that some fruit trees are self fertile and some need pollinators. Cider The resurgence of cider is worth a celebration! Cider or cider-like beverages and cider making traditions have a long history around the g Terroir What makes my fruit so flavorful? Why does my apple tree grown here in California produce apples that taste so much different than when I t Heirloom Fruit Trees Exactly what an heirloom plant is can mean different things to different people. We consider heirloom fruit trees as varieti Preparing Fruit Trees for Winter for Zones The beautiful weather in middle fall may not allow the trees to go into dormancy on a regular schedu
A relative of figs and breadfruit, jackfruit grows in tropical areas of Southeast Asia, Brazil and Africa. While it is technically a fruit, its consistency is similar to that of chicken or pork. It has a fairly neutral taste when young, so it takes on the flavor of whatever sauce or seasoning you pair it with. It has a stringy consistency that works especially well with tangy barbecue sauce.
An average size of jack fruit grown backyard of my house. Jack fruits has very strong distinctive sweet and fruity aroma.
Planting trees is a great idea. Trees provide beauty, shade, wildlife habitat and more. And if planting a tree is a good idea, planting a fruit tree is even better! Fruit trees also provide food and jobs. Below is a list of some food-bearing trees that we encourage planting.
Commercial fruit trees usually consist of two parts, the scion (the fruiting variety) which makes up most of the tree that you see above ground-level.
A tree that Sam Van Aken grows might look like any other—until it blooms. First, its branches blossom in different shades of pink, white and crimson, and then, quite magically, the tree displays a mix of fruit. The year-old sculptor and art professor at Syracuse University created his first multi-fruit tree back in , by grafting together branches from different trees. He intended to produce a piece of natural art that would transform itself.
Nothing Reported How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest? Nothing Reported What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals? Nothing Reported Impacts What was accomplished under these goals? Cowgill suddenly retired in June of
Media contact: Jeff Cotter jcotter rainbowfund. For the 15th year, those seeds bear fruit.
Explore This Park. Pawpaw trees in the forest understory NPS With leaves and branches that deer avoid, and fruit that is loved by all, the pawpaw Asimina triloba is a fascinating native tree. What do we know about the ecology of pawpaw in our region, and what could its dominance mean for our future forests? The flavor of pawpaw fruit is often compared to bananas, but with hints of mango, vanilla, and citrus. The fruit has the ungainly appearance of a small green potato and may occur in clusters on the tree. Pawpaw is self-incompatible, which means that pollen produced on a plant cannot pollinate flowers on the same plant.
Story Transcript. Hussam Saraf says his record-breaking tree with 10 different types of fruit is a metaphor for how he sees the world. Saraf is multicultural officer at a secondary school in Shepparton, Australia, and says grafting different fruits together echoes the work he does in his day job.