Tips For Watering a Bonsai Tree

There are many different skills needed to successfully grow Bonsai Trees in your home. Some of these are easy to identify, such as pruning or training the tree. Fortunately neither of these is usually fatal to the tree unless you become over physical with the tree when you are training it, and end up breaking off the branches or the trunk. There is one other skill that can be, and often is, fatal to the Bonsai tree and that is watering.

There is an old belief in Japan that it takes 3 years to learn to water your Bonsai correctly. It is also often said that it may take three years of tree loss before a new Bonsai enthusiast realizes that their watering regiment may be the cause of the losses.

There are two problems with watering, we either over or underwater the Bonsai tree. The effects of under watering are pretty easy to spot. While the effects of over watering can take much longer to become apparent. Over watering is also normally a lot harder to diagnose. Under watering and allowing the compost to dry out completely is the quickest way to kill a Bonsai tree.

Established plants that are growing in the ground have in an innate ability to adjust to their environment and water quantity. If the tree needs additional water, its roots will begin to spread out in search of water. Plants growing in more arid areas will tend to have much larger root structures. However, when a plant is forced to grow in a pot, like the Bonsai tree is, the tree lacks the ability for the root structures to spread out beyond the confines of pot, in its search for additional water. In other words, Bonsai Trees grown in a pot, depend on you to regulate the water of the plant.

Once a Bonsai tree, or for that matter any tree or plant, has started to show the effects of under watering, it is often too late to save the tree by adding additional water. In fact adding water at this point can actually cause more damage to the tree. Water can actually be pulled from the tree by a process known as reverse osmosis. A Bonsai tree that is suffering from under watering will show damage at the leaves, branch roots and the trunk. Leaves will dry out and fall from the branches, the branches them self will become brittle and are easily broken.

If the Bonsai tree has been over watered the roots and the compost that surrounds the roots will be permanently wet. A healthy tree needs to be able to draw oxygen into its roots. This oxygen normally comes from the compost around the roots. However, when the compost is permanently wet, it lacks the ability to absorb air. This results in the death of the roots, followed by the tree dying itself.

So the question is how you, as a Bonsai enthusiast, learn to water your Bonsai correctly. The simplest way may sound strange, but the simplest is “Never water your Bonsai on a routine”. Instead learn to water your Bonsai only when the tree needs it. On a extremely hot dry day, your Bonsai may need additional water, other times the tree may not need additional water for a couple of days. To determine when your tree actually needs water, check the compost. Compost will change color and appearance as it begins to dry out. When the color of the compost changes and the top ΒΌ” of the compost have dried out, it’s time to water your Bonsai tree.

The morning is the best time of the day to water your Bonsai. This allows the water to absorb into the compost and root structure before the effects of the sun and mid day heat effect the tree. Late afternoon or evening watering is not recommended, unless the Bonsai has dried out during the day.

The soil that you plant you Bonsai in can affect how much and how often you need to water. Most Bonsai trees that come from commercial nurseries will have the pot filled with compost. Compost will retain water longer than an inorganic soil, so it is imperative that you monitor the compost regularly to prevent over watering. If possible, it is recommended that you replace the compost with an inorganic soil since this soil reduces the possibility of over watering. However, keep in mind that most growers do not recommend repotting a Bonsai for the first year, as this may put additional stresses on the tree.

Some sources recommend that you water the Bonsai by “Immersion”. DO NOT water by immersion. Immersion watering is used to get water into a plant with compacted, very poor quality organic soil. If the Bonsai actually needs to be watered by immersion, it is really in trouble. The best way to correct this problem is to make small holes in the soil to allow water to penetrate into the soil, and at the earliest opportunity repot the plant.

Watering should only be done when the plant actually needs to be watered. Don’t over or under water the plant. And when you water the Bonsai tree, be sure to water from the top of the tree. Then relax and enjoy your Bonsai tree.

Sampler of Rare Fruits for Fun or Profit

Here is a sampler of unusual fruits showing up on temperate climate farms and in nurseries. Their rarity in your location, of course, depends on your growing region.

Sea Buckthorn (Hipprophae rhamnoides)

A very productive northern fruiting plant, sea buckthorn, also called sea buckthorn berry or simply sea berry, is actually widely grown and yet very few in America are aware of it. It’s an attractive small tree or shrub native to the Russian Far East. It grows up to ten feet, with narrow silver leaves, spaced seven feet apart unless creating a hedge with plantings three to five feet apart. It is very hardy to minus 50 degrees F., and is easy to grow and resistant to disease. Prolific round yellow-orange fruits from the female plants are very high in vitamin C. In Europe they are made into sauces, jellies and used as a base for liqueurs. The juice is tart and is sweetened or blended with other fruits. Branches are also used in florist displays and the cosmetic and medicinal industry uses oil of the kernel and pulp.

Quince, Tree and Bush (Cydonia oblonga)

On Dog Mountain Farm in Carnation, Washington, owners David & Cindy Krepky have added quince to their sustainably operated community supported agriculture farm, which offers a large variety of better known vegetables, fruits, herbs and cut flowers as well. Nurseries offer several varieties of quince tree, some of which describe the fruit of the quince as a wonderful pineapple-like flavor. Value added products made from quince include jelly and jam, and they are sometimes mixed with apple cider. Almost every rural family had a fruiting quince tree in the early 20th century. The trees grow up to15 feet, some closer to eight to 10 feet, are self fertile with large white blossoms in late spring, and big bright yellow fruit ripening in fall. The late blossoms allow them to avoid spring frost damage. The quince bush is a winter hardy, disease resistant shrub also covered in fall with pineapple and/or citrus flavored fruits used to make jellies, jams or syrups.

Huckleberries (Vaccinium species)

Closely related to blueberries, huckleberries are rarely found in nurseries and yet huckleberry jams, pies and preserves are considered highly prized products. Sometimes more often called wild blueberries in the eastern U.S., they have much the same growing requirements as blueberries. Their berries are small and have a distinct wild flavor. Varieties native to the Pacific Northwest coast, sub-alpine and mountain regions are available, with some being evergreen, and some deciduous. There is at least one variety that grows well in USDA zones 4 through 10.

Kiwis (Actinidia species)

Although becoming well known, the kiwi is still considered a very special fruit, especially with the added novelty of being grown locally and organically. Native to Asia with the fuzzy kiwi introduced from New Zealand and hardy varieties from Russia and Japan, the vines are fast growing, with a variety of sizes of bright green-fleshed sweet fruits. The fuzzy, larger kiwis are hardy in the Pacific Northwest, but colder climates can grow the Arctic Beauty and the Arguta Hardy Kiwis. A male vine is needed for the females to set fruit, with one able to pollinate up to eight females. The fruits ripen in fall, and are usually picked after the first frost, still hard, when they can be stored in refrigeration for months, and then set out to soften. Growers report no significant pest or disease problems, with mature vines producing 25 pounds or more of fruit.

Lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea)

Lingonberries are a native European evergreen ground cover. Each plant grows from 12 to 18 inches and when planted in groups, they eventually form a dense mat, which can choke out weeds. They are a delicious cranberry-like fruit ripening in late fall, about the size and shape of a small blueberry. Some varieties are very productive and easy to grow. They’re used for sauces, preserves, pickles, syrup, jelly and wine. They are self-fertile although better production is reported from growing more than one variety. Extremely hardy, growers say they withstand even arctic temperatures. In warm climates, they can produce in semi-shade, and in fact may do better in these circumstances, making them a good second crop under larger crops such as orchards or forest crops trees, although they do need acid soil and cannot take overwatering.

Medlar (Mespilus germanica)

Botanically somewhere between a pear and a hawthorn, the medlar is native to the eastern part of the Mediterranean and the eastern part of Turkey, the western part of Iran and around the Caucasus. Grown in Europe for thousands of years and productive in USDA zones 5–9, the tree is self-fertile, growing up to 10 feet. The fruits are one-inch in diameter, look a little like a crabapple, and are harvested after the first frost. Similar to pears in that they are a fruit that is not picked ripe, the medlar fruit is still quite hard upon harvest. During a process called ‘bletting,’ the fruit is stored in a cool, lighted place to become rich, soft and spicy, described by some growers as having a flavor of cinnamon applesauce and with a wine-like undertone. When fruits are developed enough for eating they are enjoyed raw, made into jelly, folded into whipped cream, and some connoisseurs use them in Old English recipes. Because of their natural storage and need for ‘bletting,’ farmers can offer their customers a late fall or winter crop when other crops are finished.

Mulberries (Morus)

The mulberry is a self-fertile fruit tree that produces abundantly with varieties that are reliable in USDA zones 4–9. The fruits resemble long raspberries or blackberries, and are used most often as fresh fruits, in baked goods, wine and preserves. The trees need full sun, and can be maintained at 15 feet. One warning is that fruit-eating birds are particularly fond of the mulberry, and their brightly colored juice stains very easily, so don’t plant a row of these over your customers’ parking area! The trees produce a summer crop, July through September, and the fruit is described as chewy, sweet and highly flavored with a pleasing, unique aftertaste.

Nanking Cherry (Prunus tomentosa)

A cherry relative, the Nanking cherry is considered a ‘tart cherry bush.’ It is a beautiful flowering shrub that produces edible tart-cherry-like fruit. Products from the fruit are commonly fresh fruit, pie fillings and jellies. The fruits ripen in summer and are around ½ inch in diameter. The plant is also sold as a wildlife and windbreak plant. This deciduous shrub grows in USDA zones 2–8 and matures at six to 12 feet. It is native to Asia, tolerant to drought, and requires a soil that is well drained.

Elderberries (Sambucus species)

Elderberries are shrubs that prefer full sun, and are considered to be the easiest of all fruits to grow and care, and also possibly the most consistently productive. Extremely prolific, both the blossoms and berries have been used for centuries in cultures throughout the world for both medicinal and edible products including baked goods, cordials, jellies, tea and wine. The teas are also used in baths as an herbal treatment and the berries have also been used in dyes. Most recently, the elderberry has been explored and come to the forefront as a possible treatment for winter ailments, and the fruit is reported to be higher in vitamin C than oranges. As a nursery plant, the elderberry can be sold as a multi-purpose plant with many uses for both humans and as a wildlife sanctuary plant, as birds enjoy the berries, also.

Pomegranate (Punica)

The Pomegranate can be grown as an arching shrub or small tree. Although mostly adapted to desert climates, needing good drainage and hot summers to produce a crop of fruit, some growers sell them as potted porch plants to bring indoors to finish ripening. They thrive in USDA zones 4–10 but in cooler climates are brought inside to obtain the large ripened red fruits, which are juiced or eaten fresh in a very special manner. The seeds within each fruit are covered with sacks that are juicy, red and sweet, which are eaten and then the seeds are discarded. The trees are self- and insect-pollinated and are harvested usually starting early October. The cool fall nights help develop the bright color. The trees are thorny, and mature trees are reported to yield more than 15 tons of fruit per acre.

Paw Paws (Asimina triloba)

Paw paw varieties can grow as small tree to 10′ tall, with some native varieties reaching 40 feet or more. Their leaves are long and tropical looking. Native in much of the eastern United States, they are not well known in other parts of the country, although they grow and produce well in most of the nation, USDA zones 5–9, including the Pacific Northwest. The fruits are three to six inches long, oblong, and the pulp is described as tasting like vanilla custard. They are harvest when fruit color turns from green to yellow, and the soft fruit is most often eaten with a spoon, with the large seeds discarded. They grow naturally as an understory tree but can also grow in full sun, making them a possible secondary tree crop among other tree crops. In areas of much hot dry sun, the younger trees do better with partial shade. Fruits are harvested usually in late September and October.

Mayhaw (Crataegus aestivalis)

The Mayhaw, from the hawthorn family, is native to the United States and grows in USDA zones 6–9. Certain varieties of the mayhaw produce heavy crops of small red fruits, about ½” in diameter, that make delicious jelly, pies and juice. Growing only about 15 feet tall, they can tolerate wetter soils that other fruit trees, making them a possible sideline crop for marginal growing areas, although areas of late spring frosts can cut production because the tree blooms very early in spring.

Aromatherapy: Tea Tree Oil Benefits

Tea  Tree  oil is gaining more mainstream popularity. Long used in the aromatherapy industry, its health benefits are being touted by many companies who include it in their products.

What is tea  tree  oil? Its Latin name is Melaleuca alternifolia and it comes from a  tree . Melaleuca  trees  are native to Australia although they are now also propagated in California. The common name ‘tea  tree ‘ was given when British explorers used the leaves to brew tea. It’s antiseptic use has been in existence for hundreds of years, but has only recently been scientifically studied (starting in 1929). The ‘official’ studying of tea  tree  oil led to ever increasing interest. Tea  tree  oil was even supplied in first aid kits to soldiers in the Australian army.

After harvesting, the leaves of the  tree  are put into a still and pressurized steam is forced through them. The steam, which extracts the essential oils, then is cooled and the tea  tree  oil is separated from the water.

Some of the reported benefits of tea  tree  oil include: antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. Antiseptic means that it will kill bacteria, such as those that cause acne. Tea  tree  oil has been shown to be as effective as benzoyl peroxide in controlling acne, without the irritation and skin drying that accompanies that treatment. Anti-fungal means that it will kill fungus or yeast spores. Tea  tree  oil used in shampoos can control dandruff by eliminating that fungus from the scalp.

If you have never smelled neat tea  tree  oil, prepare yourself. It is incredibly strong and smells of a disinfectant. Some people enjoy the smell, but most people find it to be displeasing. However, tea  tree  can be blended with other essential oils to work with and mask the odor. Tea  tree  oil is used for its medicinal properties – not its scent!

Tea  tree  oil is only used on the skin. It should never be taken internally, as it can be very toxic to the liver if ingested. If using a toothpaste with tea  tree  oil, take extra care not to swallow any of the toothpaste and is not recommended for children. Although tea  tree  oil can be used neat on the skin, it is best used in dilution to prevent sensitivity from occurring.

Some home uses for tea  tree  oil:

As an acne treatment, mix tea  tree  oil with aloe vera gel – using 5% tea  tree  to 95% aloe vera gel. Apply to clean skin.

Disinfectant spray: Mix a 5% dilution of tea  tree  oil with rubbing alcohol. Pour into a spray bottle and use this mixture to disinfect and deodorize garbage cans. You can also use this spray in your washing machine to prevent mold and mildew.

For insect bites: Mix a 5% dilution of tea  tree  oil with aloe vera gel. Use this mixture to soothe bug bites or rashes. It will also help prevent infection.

The uses for tea  tree  oil are almost endless. As more and more studies are being done, the list of the benefits of tea  tree  oil grows even longer.

Save The Hawksbill Sea Turtle

The Hawksbill  sea  turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) which once was found in abundance around the world is now on the way of extinction. The reasons behind their declination are many. Different human created and natural forces are working behind the reduction in their quantity. One of the greatest threats to their existence is the loss of coral reefs which is the habitat for Hawksbill turtles. Coral reefs are being destructed and degraded due to reckless human activities.

Human activities can affect coral reef communities in both ways gradually and catastrophically. We, humans are doing everything for our better and comfortable living without thinking about the impact of our activities on the environment. We are building more and more factories, cars, engines to meet the rapidly increasing demand of us. And to build new things we are destroying the forests and filling out the water sources. These are polluting the environment. We are burning more and more fossil fuels to run these things which is producing huge amount of Carbon-Di-Oxide every day. As the number  of   trees  is decreasing at an alarming rate, this additional carbon is not being absorbed by anything, it is prevailing in the earth’s environment. Carbon-Di-Oxide prevents the heat from being radiated and the temperature of the earth is increasing day by day. Recently evidences have been found about the impact of global warming caused by human on coral reef communities. Climate change is affecting the corals by causing diseases frequently which can destroy the whole community of corals. As the hawksbill  sea  turtles depend on coral reefs for food and habitat their declination will cause severe threat to the existence of hawksbill turtles.

Excessive harvesting of the hawksbill  sea  turtles is the primary reason behind the declination of them. They are being harvested for their beautiful shell even since the Egyptian era. Shell of Hawksbill turtles are of great economic value. It is used in producing cosmetics, oils, perfumes and other products. In the north Caribbean islands, hawksbill turtles are harvested for their carapace which is often used to produce clips, jewelry, combs and many other ornaments.

The Hawksbill  sea  turtles are also harvested for the popularity of their eggs and meat. Sometimes the whole stuffed turtles are sold.

All these human activities have been causing threat to their existence and pushing them towards extinction. We cannot let that happen. It is our duty to stop it. Immediately we should take required steps.

Kerala Backwater Tour – The Ultimate Name For Serenity

Located on the sea shores in the Southern part of India, Kerala is mesmerizing land of letters, lakes and latex. The three components pronounce the rich natural, cultural and ethical beauty of the land rightly known as ‘God’s Own Country’. A haven of a place, it is embroidered with pristine sand stretches and azure waters of sea at its periphery that make Kerala tour a must for beach lovers. Backwaters are amongst the several highlights of Kerala tour packages as they oozes out natural exuberance that Kerala stands.

The abundance of natural beauty of Kerala is enhanced with the presence of innumerable water bodies donning the land. Across Kerala the merging of fresh water of rivers and salted sea water gave birth to backwaters. The backwaters of Kerala are a series of brackish lakes, rivers and lagoons that includes both manmade and natural water bodies created by the action of waves and shore currents that resulted into the formation of low barrier islands across Kerala. Kerala backwater tours nourish the soul with natural vivacity and beauty of backwaters coupled with enchanting greenery surrounding.

Sail the Traditional Houseboat: Traditional ‘Kettuvalloms’ were boats created by binding up large logs of trees together and were used as a means of transportation. In today’s times these are converted into lavish cruises, though traditional in design and approach are replete with all the modern comforts.

Traversing through the backwaters, the view is heavenly with rippling sounds of water, banks of which are covered with shady coconut trees providing best sights of Kerala tour. Meandering through the backwaters on these houseboats one gets an opportunity to get up close and personal with the local life residing on the shores and experience the delectable flavours of Kerala. A well furnished houseboat has ample space in it for a romantic and comfortable rendezvous with tranquility. The lavish and modern versions of these houseboats includes rooms with attached bath, open lounge and deck, kitchen along with crew members and cook ensuring complete comfort while for those on a backwater tour to Kerala.

Famed Backwater Destinations in Kerala: The famed backwater destinations in Kerala first include the quaint Kumarakom backwaters; a cluster of small islands, Kumarakom is embellished with azure waters of Lake Vembanad. Gliding on the shimmering waters of Kumarakom one also gets to pass through a bird sanctuary. Alleppey or Alappuzha is another ‘not to be missed’ destination while on a Kerala tour. The abundance of water in the region helps the crops of rice flourish immensely making Kuttand in Alappuzha the famed ‘Rice Bowl’. People visit this part of Kerala to witness an annual Snake Boat Race which is one of the most exciting and beautiful sights of Kerala tour.

Explore the rice paddy before leaving for enchanting Kochi backwaters. The town of Kochi attracts highest numbers of tourists for its rich cultural lineage, spectacular backwaters and sun-kissed beaches. A famous backwater destination, Kollam charm visitors with its simplicity and spirituality. A visit to Kollam takes the tranquil effect of backwater Kerala tour a step further; Lake Ashtamudi adds to its physical charms where as the presence of ancient temples makes it a hit amongst the lovers of art and architecture.

Tips About Selecting a Tree – Planting Project to Offset Carbon Emissions

Concern over global warming and a rising sea level has prompted some companies to look into ways to offset their carbon emissions. The cost of sponsoring a renewable energy project are prohibitive for some companies (over $5 per ton of carbon emissions). Since the per-capita emissions of carbon in the USA total approximately 20 tons of carbon dioxide per year (based on an estimate of 6 billion tons and an estimated population of 300 million), it is untenable to expect the typical resident of the USA to sponsor his or her own carbon offset program if it costs as much as $100 per year.

Most companies that have examined the option of sponsoring tree plantings as a way to reduce carbon footprint have encountered three questions:

(1) what kind of tree should be sponsored? And how much carbon can a typical tree absorb annually?

Much of that information was developed by the Organization of American States, on behalf of the electric power industry and other concerned groups back about 1980. It was further developed by the University of Oregon and Dr. Paiul Faeth of a consulting firm in Washington DC called Resources Management International (RMI) and was the basis for a carbon mitigation project in Guatemala funded largely by the US Government, on behalf of an electric power service organization, Applied Energy Services, located in nearby Arlington, Virginia.

That project planted 54 million trees, mostly Leucaena leucocephala, which would be sufficient in annually removing more CO2 from the atmosphere than was emitted annually from the plant, which is located in Uncasville, Connecticut, USA. A second project on behalf of New England Electric Service (NEES) followed shortly thereafter.

The information came from studies of the annual growth of this species in conditions similar to those encountered in Guatemla and varous parts of these trees were annually weighed (trunk, branches, roots, leaflets,leaves). The finding was that such a tree annually removed about 53 lbs. of Carbon Dioxide. The US Congress later simplified the calculation to 50 pounds, concluding that 40 such trees would annually remove and sequester a ton (2,000 lbs.) of CO2.

Some agronomists believe that this figure might be conservative. Certain species of trees bring additional benefits to the soil that will result in more undergrowth. Also, the trees constantly shed leaves – these Leucaena Trees, for example, drop as much as 15 tons of leaves per hectare annually, That in itself represents about 20 lbs. of carbon per tree annually. Some of those leaves decay into soil and thus add to the forest mulch.

(2) How can we be sure the trees really are planted?

This issue was enough to kill most tree-planting efforts by green marketers in the late 1990s since there was not an easy way of verifying that the trees were really planted. As we will see later in this article, there are options that are now available, thanks to GPS.

(3) How can we be sure the trees will still be there ten years from now? Incentive programs can be put into place where the trees are monitored and if the local village can demonstrate that the trees planted had grown to maturity, then certain rewards can be delivered. For example, some tree planting organizations tie donations of a new school to the successful protection of an area of newly planted trees.

Before closing this discussion, it may be of interest to discuss the “Forest Garden” approach, advocated by a tree planting organization in Silver Spring, Md. When the program combines trees with food crops and other plants, the total carbon sequestered per tree is higher. Since the forest garden itself is a “bankable” project (the local farmers derive more immediate income from the vegetables than from the trees), and the carbon sequestered also presumably has a market value, it may be possible to reducing atmospheric carbon with a profitable enterprise through this system.

For more information or if you would like to have other issues addressed in a future article, please contact the author below. A free carbon emission estimate is available by writing to the author. Request the “Carbon Emissions Worksheet.”

Arizona State Tree

The Arizona state  tree  is the Palo Verde. Palo Verde is Spanish for “green pole” or “green stick.”, and refers to the  tree’s  greenish branches and trunk. The spelling of the  tree’s  common name varies from “paloverde” to “palo verde”, but “palo verde” is the most common.

Arizona became a state in 1912 but the Arizona state  tree  was officially adopted in 1954, introduced to the Twenty-first Legislature of Arizona by 11 different women residing in six different Arizona counties. It’s interesting to note that the legislation that adopted the palo verde  tree  did not specify a particular variety. The Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 41, Chapter 4.1, Article 5, Section 41-856 is titled “State  tree ” and simply states that “The Palo Verde (genera cercidium) shall be the state  tree .”

Two Palo Verde species are native to Arizona. The Cercidium floridum has blue-green branches and leaves, and is commonly referred to as the Blue Palo Verde. The Cercidium microphyllum has yellow-green branches and leaves, and is commonly referred to as the Yellow or Foothill Palo Verde. Both species of palo verde are spiny, multi-trunked, deciduous  trees . Yellow palo verde  trees  reach about 20 feet in height and have more yellowish bark and duller yellow/white flowers. Blue palo verdes, on the other hand, can grow as tall as 40 feet. Their branches and leaves are bluish-green and are larger than the yellow palo verde.

Palo verde  trees  are flowering  trees  in Arizona that bloom in the spring. During their short flowering seasons, both species produce thousands of five-petaled yellow blossoms which attract various pollinating insects including bees, beetles, and even flies.

The blue palo verde  tree  requires the most water of the two species, and is found most often in washes and other areas with higher water availability and finer soil. The yellow palo verde  tree  requires less water, and is found most often in coarser soils on higher ground away from washes. Yellow palo verdes often live over 100 years and may reach up to 400 years of age, while blue palo verdes grow faster and die sooner, rarely reaching even 100 years.

Trees As Protectors, Cleaners, Purifiers, and Life Givers

It would be a timely discussion amidst the frequently occurring natural disasters in many parts of the world that the services rendered by the flora in the natural forest areas of the earth crust and the manually grown trees to minimize dangerous effects of natural disasters and the disasters caused by the inconsiderate activities of man are very important and invaluable. Flood, landslide, high tide, drought, sea erosion affect severely on the human life. Natural disasters threaten the economy of a country forcing long – term and short – term bad effects on the life conditions of the people of it.

A country that has faced a natural disaster has to spend billions and billions of money to repair the damage and devastation and to rehabilitate the people of it. Although the tragedies of losing lives of innocent people that would be felt by their nears and dears for a life time would never be repaired, studies show that we can reduce this huge sum of money by 75%, if take strategical steps in advance. To do this, we have to consider inter relation of natural disasters, disasters caused by people and functions of trees done to minimize these disasters.

How can we get the maximum advantage of trees to reduce above mentioned cost and risk of lives. For this, people should be aware of the benefits given by natural flora and the flora grown by people. Trees can do wonderful favorable things to the environment, rather than beautifying it.

1. Trees purify the air we breath in. Who pollutes the air? Is it the nature? Who takes the natural gasoline out from the earth core and burn it in vehicles and factories emitting poisonous air unsuitable to breath in? Trees do an invaluable service to rectify this grave mistake.

2. Trees secure potable water in the land. Cleaning forest area for many things reduces the amount of potable water. When the scorching sun hits hardly on the ground evaporating every drop what comes to safe guard the potable water giving shade to the heated crust?

3. It is true that we use water to generate electricity and for agriculture. If it is not by the trees, who and what secures the volume of water for these purposes.

4. There is a big hullabaloo that chemical fertilizer used in agriculture brings people health hazards. Did ancient people use chemical fertilizer for cultivation. What did they eat? How did they grow their crops? The natural falling down of leaves and twigs of trees and when they decayed fulfilled the need of manure in the past. If we use this compost we can reduce the amount of chemical fertilizer. It may reduce the health hazards which is also a disaster created by man

5. Trees retain the rain. Trees are an essential part of the water cycle. How many common people know that there is a phenomenon called water cycle. How many know that trees contribute to it. Ignorance may bring us bad luck. Education and religion have a hand in eliminating ignorance.

6. Why do rivers,reservoirs, water streams, and lakes overflow even in a little rain? Why do bottoms of them get filled with silt. When the bottoms of them get filled with silt they overflow easily. What takes the silt into the water ways. It is the rain. If there is a good coverage of the leaves of trees over the earth crust the rain drops wouldn’t hit the ground directly and it reduces rate of washing away of the soil with the rain water. It would then minimize silt sedimentation.

7. Trees are a wind breaker. It reduces the impact of fast – moving wind on the residential areas. and the rooting system of trees also give a big contribution against land slide.

8. In warm countries we use air conditioners to make the environment cool. If we grow trees strategically around we can reduce the need of air conditioners, it reduces the emission of gases that harm the existence of ozone layer.

We all know the benefits of trees. We behave as we don’t know. We still cut down trees carelessly and unnecessarily. Deliberate setting of fire still happens. people should understand the danger of devastating trees and forests. Knowledgeable people should make others aware of the benefits of trees and the danger of devastating them. What we should do is not to beg the unknown powers to protect us,when the danger hits on our heads but to make use our knowledge to protect trees and forests. Let’s plant more and more trees and protect the world for the future generation.

Bonsai Starter Trees – Important Factors

Bonsai starter trees are very popular in America. Bonsai were originated in Japan. The word Bonsai is the combined form of bon, which stands for tray and sai, is meant for tree. You will have to learn how to properly plant the bonsai starter trees in your garden. There are different kinds of the bonsai starter trees and you will have to make the proper selection. The Japanese juniper is considered one of the most attractive trees in Japan because of the fantastic foliage and beautiful branches. However, to enhance the proper growth of the bonsai starter trees, there is the important requirement of proper sunlight and moisture.

Different Bonsai Trees

Japanese juniper is a good tree in cool temperatures. You can plant the bonsai in ceramic vessels and place the containers in the garden or on the top of the arch of the patio gate. Japanese red maples are a good example of the bonsai starter tree. If you spread the seeds of the Japanese red maple on the ground, it will take time for normal growth of the saplings to blossom into full maturity. You need to take care of the bonsai starter trees properly. During the fall season, the foliage of leaves on the tree trunks becomes radiant red. The Japanese red maple is cost effective and it will be a nice addition to your garden.

Sea Grape is another kind of bonsai. In Florida, you will find this type of plant in plenty. The size of the leaves are big and you need to cut them to size for the perfect shape. If you are unable to trim the bonsai starter trees, you need to contact a professional gardener who will shape your favorite trees in a systematic way. The Chinese elm is another excellent bonsai tree, which can be planted for the inside decoration of the house. This type of Bonsai grows up to 8-10 inches.

The Chinese elm is the best option to use in your garden. These trees will grow normally in winter months. You should not expose the plants to the direct sunlight. Other options include the Himalayan cedar and the Brazilian bonsai trees. The Brazilian trees grow up to 15 inches in height. You must trim the unwanted and dried leaves and trunks of the trees. If you see that, your bonsai trees are severely affected by the insects you need to use a good quality pesticide for the protection of the bonsai starter trees.

Best Gourmet Coffee – The Top Ten Ingredients

Premium arabica coffee is a gift from the sun and the earth, born only under perfect environmental conditions in the mountainous regions between the tropics of Capricorn and Cancer. The best coffee requires light, fertile volcanic soil, abundant rainfall, some cloud cover, warm temperatures, very little wind, sunny mornings, rainy afternoons and the purest air. But where on earth can these ideal conditions be found? How about Kona, Hawaii? At the base of volcanoes Mauna Loa and Hualalai, the view is bounded on one side by mountains of perpetual green and pacific blues on the other. The morning air is soft and balmy, yet pure and refreshing. There is no place more beautiful where one would desire to pass their allotted time on earth, nor is there any other place better suited for growing specialty coffee! This is the Kona Coffee Belt, a 20-mile long by 2-mile wide band, which rests 700 to 2,500 feet above   sea  level. Spanning between the slopes of two volcanoes, lush green hills are covered by small, family owned plantations made up  of   trees  that are sometimes more than a hundred years old. Here’s are the 10 key reasons why Kona coffee, one of (if not THE) worlds top gourmet coffees can come only from Kona, Hawaii.

The Air

There is an island, which is far away from any other land. So far actually, that when the winds finally arrive, the air is cleaner and clearer than anywhere else on earth. Naturally filtered of pollutants and oxygenated by thousands of miles of ocean in each direction, it feels like breathing pure silk. This is Hawai’i, the most isolated archipelago in the Pacific and in the world. Hawaiian weather patterns are affected primarily by high-pressure zones in the north Pacific that send cool, moist trade winds to the island’s northeastern slopes. The winds are forced up-slope, where moisture condenses into rain producing clouds – a phenomenon that creates the rich tropical environment for Hawai’i’s flowers and vibrant greens.

The Earth

The Big Island is a bit smaller than the state of Connecticut and slightly larger than the island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean  Sea . It’s the largest of the seven Hawai’ian islands though, yet only 130,000 inhabitants call this place home. Due to Hawai’i’s remoteness, the islands have been spared many diseases and countless pests have never landed on its shores, which enables the land,  the   sea , even the air to remain abundant, fertile and pure. The disintegrating volcanic rock on the Big Island is rich in natural minerals and erodes easily. This geologically young, porous and well-drained soil, mixed with decayed vegetation creates nutritious and healthy pastures for Hawaii’s flowers, fruits and verdant greens. The Big Islands broad slopes and high peaks obstruct the flow of weather patterns over the Pacific, causing 13 of the world’s 16 global climates to be found here: sunny beaches, tropical rain forests, cool alpine regions and stony deserts – each with its own unique weather, plants and animals.

The Water

The year-round warm ocean waters are responsible for the equally balmy air temperature. On their long journey, the trade winds pick up the cleanest ocean water and drop it onto our mountains. Rain is not gloomy here, but nurturing, cleansing, warm and refreshing. Towering cumulus clouds tend to build up over the volcanoes on sunny warm afternoons, resulting in brief, intense and localized showers. One may ask where all the rainwater goes, if not used by vegetation or running back to  sea ? Accumulated rainwater is filtered through rocks and pools between ancient layers of lava, creating gigantic aquifers of the purest fresh water deep in the earth to be tapped by future generations.

The Fire

The Hawaiian islands were created by a fine crack in the mantle of the earth, which leaked so much lava onto the deep ocean floor that it created the world’s highest volcano. And if measured from the ocean floor, it is also the world’s highest mountain. Magnificent steam explosions occur where the glowing lava flow enters the ocean and creates new land out of rocks, pebbles and sand. The volcano is believed by Hawaiian’s to be an incarnation of the goddess Pelé, who is soothed by sacrifices and offerings of respect. Occasionally one may find stony strands of her ‘hair’ or pellets like shiny ‘tears’ on the beach, from when she wanders amongst us mortals in the figure of an old woman. Sun drenched mornings and misty afternoons are not all Kona needs in order to produce the perfect Hawaiian coffee climate. Large steam plumes on the other side of the island are produced where lava enters the ocean. These clouds contain a mixture of light hydrochloric acid and water droplets, which is created when the intense heat of lava evaporates salty seawater. This hazy mixture we call ‘laze’. The constant airborne emissions of the Kilauea crater releases sulfur dioxide gases, which react chemically with sunlight and oxygen. They form a sulfuric acid fog we call ‘vog’ (volcanic fog). The trade winds dilute these cloud mixtures and send them on a hundred mile journey around the southern tip of the island to Kona. Here in the coffee belt this cloud mixtures serve as a gentle and natural fertilizer for the coffee  trees . Volcanic soil is sometimes too alkaline and requires these acids in order to balance the pH value, which in turn creates the perfect growing conditions for coffee arabica  trees . This unique combination is yet another reason that Kona coffee beans come from the most productive  trees  on earth!

The Trade Winds

Throughout most of the year Hawaiian weather patterns are affected primarily by high-pressure zones in the north Pacific that send cool, moist trade winds to the island’s northeastern slopes. The strength of these winds build as the heat of the day rises and reach a peak in the afternoon, only to diminish in the evening and start again the next day. The trade winds are forced up-slope by the mountain heights where moisture condenses into rain producing clouds. Most of this rain falls then in the mountains and valleys on the wet, windward (northeastern) side of the island and it is this weather phenomenon that creates the rich tropical environment for Hawaii’s flowers and vibrant greens. Shelter on the dry, leeward (southwestern) side from the prevailing trade winds and occasional tropical storms is provided by the 14,000 foot height of the volcano Mauna Loa. But there is enough wind left for the Kona coffee belt for some cooling breezes during tropical nights.

The Shade of Vector Clouds

Coffee  trees  cannot withstand dryness, heat or frost. For these reasons only the world’s premium coffees are grown under shade  trees , which protect against the overhead tropical sun. Other commercial or inexpensive coffee varieties require additional fertilizers and pesticides in order to thrive in harsh, sunny terrains. Without a lush  tree  canopy for protection, the thin tropical soil of these sun-loving varieties is exposed to blazing rays and eroding rains. The sun literally scorches the much-needed microorganisms that exist within the earth. Once destroyed, they must then be replenished artificially. Naturally shade grown Kona coffee maintains a nutrient rich soil, which reduces acidity and produces dense and more flavorful beans. During the course of any given Kona day the land is gently heated by the sun, which draws moist breezes up the slopes to create what’s called vector clouds. These clouds not only make shade  trees  obsolete, but they prompt drizzly convection rains throughout the afternoon. Therefore only in Hawai’i is coffee grown at lower altitudes and naturally irrigated. Each day around 20,000 gallons of pure, fresh Pacific rainwater is poured onto each acre of happy coffee  trees . But moments after these periodic rains disappear, one may witness the sun once again pushing its way through at the coast below, creating magnificent rainbows and the most breathtaking Hawaiian sunsets.

The  Trees 

The coffee  tree  is one of the few plants that can simultaneously grow a blossom as well as a ripe fruit on the same branch. These  trees  develop a deep root system in our porous, deep and well-drained soil. Not really huge  trees , they appear more like bushes with heavily ridged leaves and long whip like branches that bend toward the ground once heavy with fruit. Members of the gardenia family, they produce amazingly fragrant, brilliantly white flowers that coat the hills many times throughout the year. Over here the folks like to call these blooms ‘Hawaiian snow’. Century old coffee  trees  are handpicked to obtain the best flavor, assuring that only the reddest, ripest and finest cherries make it into your cup. Picking cherries too early or too late in the season will affect the taste of coffee, so only a trained eye knows exactly which fruit is at the right stage. Not many people know this, but the average Kona coffee  tree  yields about 13 pounds of raw cherry, which results in about 2 pounds of roasted coffee. So when you order 2 lbs from a Kona coffee farm, you’re actually buying the yearly fruit of an entire  tree ! If you want to avoid consuming higher levels of caffeine,make sure to always serve coffea arabica beans, as they have half the caffeine, but double the aroma of the cheaper coffea robusta beans. To know that you got any of the other aforementioned benefits buy only pure Hawaiian Kona coffee (100% Kona Coffee).

The Sun Drying

During the pulping process the harvested red berries are soaked in the freshest and purest rainwater to ferment overnight. This labor-intense ‘wet method’ is the preferred way of processing high grown arabicas. The soaked skins and pulp are then removed from the beans, which are later washed and spread out to dry on a wooden dry deck. The moist beans are raked many times throughout the day so that the drying happens uniformly. Kona’s warm sun and gentle breezes dry the beans slowly to the perfect moisture level. Commercial grades of coffee utilize a mechanical drying method, which forces hot air over the beans to speed up the drying process. This method proves less labor intensive, therefore lowering the price. Sundried coffee maintains more of a delicate, mellow flavor–whereas kiln dried coffee will oftentimes lose some of the aromas Kona coffee is famous for. The only way to safely preserve coffee and its rich aromas for as long as possible is to keep it in its parchment form. Yet most coffee is processed very quickly to its green bean form in their respective country of origin. Once the green beans are exposed to air, light and humidity, the surface oxidizes and bacteria, yeasts and moulds start their deteriorating work. Many months journeys in the stuffy hold of a ship, various cargo trucks and warehouses go by before the green beans get to the roasters and ultimately to your cup. Better to only hull the parchment of the beans right before they are roasted. It’s simply healthier and tastier.

The Small Estates

Family owned plantations produce the finest, estate-grown coffee with superior large, dense and flavorful beans. Kona coffee maintains individual subtleties; much better tasting than pooled, generically sold cheaper alternatives. Kona is comparable to the Champagne region in France, which produces the only legitimately named ‘Champagne’ product. And like Champagne, 100% Kona coffee is distinguished from commercial blends not only by region and the ideal growing conditions, but also by the enormous amount of care taken throughout each step of the farming, harvesting and roasting processes. Whether it’s from the individual pruning of the  trees , handpicking only the ripest coffee cherries, carefully sun-drying on large open decks and roasting prior to packaging the coffee in specially sealed bags to ensure freshness–you can be assured that Hawaiian Kona coffee is comparable to no other. Only 14,000 to 16,000 sacks of this precious Kona coffee is produced each year by the few hundred farms dotting the hills of this region, making pure Kona coffee the rare and sought after gourmet coffee in the world.

The 100% Rule

Most likely any coffees you ever drank came from ultra-productive, low-waged labor, machine-picked and pesticide sprayed coffee farms in other parts of the world. Large companies who trade in coffee are interested in buying the cheapest beans available, resell, ship, store it for many months to the point where they have to infuse coffee aromas back into the beans during the roasting process! And you wonder why your stomach rebels against that second cup… Intense hand labor, only ripe beans, a unique climate and soil in Kona combined with natural processing gives this coffee its greatness. Real, fresh 100% Kona coffee is hard to come by outside of Kona, which is why many coffee drinkers are easily duped. Companies all over the world mislead customers and profit on the reputation of the Kona fame by mixing few Kona coffee beans with much, much cheaper inferior Central or South American beans. This combination produces an atypical, cheaper taste, and is commonly referred to as ‘10% Kona Blend’, ‘Kona Roast’, or ‘Kona Style’. Yet this name misleads folks to believe that the bag of coffee they’ve purchased contains a mix or ‘blend’ of various Kona coffees. The law of Hawai’i stipulates that a bag of pure Kona coffee must have printed on its label the words 100% KONA COFFEE to guarantee its contents. So watch out for it and check the bag or cross check the coffee websites carefully before you order!