What is ishen tree


An extraordinary plant

From a botanical point of view, a tree is a long-lived plant with a pronounced woody trunk. As a rule, it branches out from a certain height and forms a so-called crown of leafy branches. Some trees, such as tree ferns and palms, do not branch. Rather, they end up in a tuft of large leaves.

There are trees whose leaves are shaped into long, pointed needles. Others have leaves that are very different in shape. In addition, a distinction is made between evergreen and deciduous (deciduous) trees.

Like other plants, trees bloom to multiply. They can reach heights of more than 100 meters and live for several thousand years. Their age can be read from the number of annual rings that they form in their wood: every year a new layer develops inside the trunk of the growing tree.

Forest habitat

Trees are an important part of our flora. In the tropical forests, as well as in the temperate and northern climatic zones, they are even the predominant group of plants.

In healthy forests there is usually a colorful mix of different trees. With different heights and growth forms, they make optimal use of the available light, water and nutrients.

With their diverse shapes, they in turn offer habitats for other plants: These grow in their shade, climb up them like lianas or settle on their branches. The animal species that live in trees are correspondingly diverse.

Almost 30 percent of the earth's land mass is forested. But the tree population is declining. This has mainly to do with the economic importance of trees.

The tree as an economic good

The wood of the trees is an important, renewable energy supplier worldwide. It also serves as a building and raw material for all possible materials such as cellulose (paper production) and viscose (textile production).

Other tree products are fruits, seeds and resins. Fruit and nuts are harvested and eaten. Resins, tannins, bitter and dyes are obtained from branches and leaves.

There are around 30,000 types of wood worldwide, but only around 1,000 of them are of major economic importance. Many countries are overexploiting their forests: they cut more wood than can grow back. The result is an annual reduction in forest cover by more than ten million hectares.

In contrast to many other countries, the forest area in Germany has increased since 1960. However, large areas with only one tree species (monocultures) are often grown, such as fast-growing softwood.

Stubborn suppliers of oxygen: city trees

Many city dwellers think that trees belong in the forest. In doing so, he overlooks the fact that trees fulfill important functions in our cities.

A single tree produces up to 1200 liters of oxygen per hour. Or to put it another way: During its growth period in summer, it produces the air that ten people breathe.

But that's not all: a street tree processes around 2.4 kilograms of carbon dioxide within an hour. In addition, it binds more than 100 kilograms of dust a year. It evaporates up to 400 liters of water on a sunny day, thereby increasing the humidity and cooling its surroundings by a few degrees.

It does all of this under extremely difficult conditions: The fine particles of dust and exhaust gases penetrate the so-called stomata of its leaves and damage the tissue there.

Its roots have to repeatedly make detours around concrete, pipes and cables in the urban soil. Many trees have only a few square meters of open ground around their trunk.

For the trees, however, uncovered soil is vital so that the water can seep down to their roots. These much too small areas are also often parked up or compacted by stepping on.

In large cities, trees tend to bloom earlier than in the countryside. The average temperature in the cities in summer and winter is a few degrees Celsius higher than in the surrounding area.

There are many reasons for this: asphalt and concrete surfaces are heated up by the sun, and many houses are poorly insulated.

In addition, the enrichment of the atmosphere with carbon dioxide from the car exhaust leads to the greenhouse effect. The result: trees and bushes start to bloom earlier. One week earlier with each additional grade.

Trees in Cultural History

Trees were and are still today in many cultures as the seat of gods and spirits. Sacrifices were made to them under the trees.

According to legend, Christian saints often appeared near trees or groves. Many places of pilgrimage were created in this way.

People ascribe a soul to many a large, old tree. The planting of trees is therefore accompanied by religious or magical ceremonies in many cultures.

A tree that was planted on the occasion of a birth or a wedding was promised to provide information about the fate of the people concerned.

And the Christmas tree and maypole are still a reminder of the time when trees played an important role in the magical-religious life of people.