Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children
Trees of the World
You may remember that Bill and Bob planted up some tree seeds last autumn in order to do their bit to stop ‘global warming’.
Scientists have calculated that if a region the size of the US was planted with new trees, it could have a dramatic impact on climate change by reducing CO2 in the atmosphere by 25%.
They think that there is enough available space to do this across the world.
This adds up to about one trillion trees.
That is a huge number of trees, but it is not an impossible target when a lot of people are working together trying to improve the planet over the years.
At the end of July in 2019, people in Ethiopia planted more than 350 million trees in just one day! This is a phenomenal feat. Workers were coming out from their offices and leaving their jobs for a while to join in and help.
Ethiopia is very prone to drought and it was hoped the trees would help the climate improve.
Over many decades, the forest coverage had declined hugely and the project was designed to rectify this.
ln fact, many African countries have banded together to create a forest straddling the widest part of their continent. This is about 8,000km.
There are school children in lndia too that are busy tree planting increasing their country’s forest coverage.
Of course, different trees are suitable for growing in different places and there are so many different species of tree on the planet.
Some of them are quite amazing…
The coast redwood, native to the west coast of North America is famous for having very tall, straight trunks.
Many were taken for their timber by the settlers. Because so many have been taken over the centuries, the remaining ones growing in national parks are now protected by law.
There is probably only about 4% of the original forest left.
Coastal redwood trees are the tallest trees in the world and their trunks are wide too.
Some of the tallest have been given names.
They grow in a part of the world where the atmosphere is very damp and foggy. They need a lot of water to help them grow to be so big; up to 115m.
The trunks have very soft, reddish-brown bark and can absorb water from moist air.
The trees have soft needles rather than flat leaves.
Where they live on the north-west coast there may be no rain for many weeks. There is quite a lot of fog though and this condenses on the needles and then drips onto the roots beneath.
The bark is thick, fibrous and very soft. lt sheds and produces a fibrous mat on the forest floor which discourages other plants to grow in competition. The bark has fire-retardant properties and this helps to protect the tree in any forest fire allowing it to grow to a great age.
The cones they produce are egg-shaped.
The coastal redwood trees live for maybe up to 2,200 years.
The Native Americans found many medicinal uses for the bark and leaves; it was a very important tree to them.
There are lots of trees that give us useful products.
Camphor, for example has a powerful smell. lt can be used as an insect repellent and is used by people as an inhalant to clear nasal and lung congestion. You will know how horrible it is to have a stuffed up nose when you have a head cold.
Camphor is made from the wood or waxy leaves of the camphor tree.
The camphor tree was introduced to the southern United States and also grows in Australia but it is native to China, Korea and Japan.
Camphor is important in Hindu religious ceremonies and small amounts are used in lndian cooking, but only small amounts because in large quantities it is poisonous.
lt can be quiet a tall tree, growing up to 30m and can grow very big very fast. lt will produce thousands of berries that produce new seedlings very readily. Birds like eating the berries.
The eucalyptus is also famous for producing an oil that can clear congestion of the sinuses and lungs. The oil comes from its leaves when they are crushed.
lt is on of the most dominant trees in Australia where it is thought to have originated over 30 million years ago.
lt is considered a sacred tree to the native aboriginals.
The wood and bark has traditionally been used to make the musical instrument called a didgeridoo as well as canoes and useful tools.
Nowadays, it is used for timber and paper making as well, and parts of the tree can be used to make dyes in a range of colours.
The trees produce important food for koalas who eat the leaves. Other animals like insects and bats feed from the flowers.
Eucalyptus grows very quickly and has very distinctive, smooth bark with many colourful patches on it. The patches are formed when the outer layers shed off.
The leaves of most species remain green all year round.
You will find eucalyptus growing in many other countries now if they are suited to the weather there. There are hundreds of species and not all can tolerate very cold temperatures.
Another ornamental tree you will find growing in Britain is the ginkgo. lt has very unusual shaped leaves. You may have seen one growing in a park.
They can reach up to 35m and are very long-lived, like the redwoods they can live more than 2,000 years.
The ginkgo tree is considered sacred in Asia. lt is often planted near Buddhist temples. lt was Buddhist monks who took the tree from its native China to Korea and Japan where it grows well.
lt is sometimes called the maidenhair tree.
This species of tree is at least 270 million years old. We know this from fossil evidence.
Nowadays, its edible seeds are used in cooking and traditional Chinese medicine to treat chest complaints and in the west, herbal remedies are made from the leaves to try and enhance memory and improve blood circulation.
The trees are either male or female and only flower when they are near trees of the opposite sex. Most commercially grown trees are grown from cuttings from male trees so females are hard to find.
One of the strangest-looking trees in the world is the baobab tree, also known as the tree of life. lt is very useful to the people where it lives.
The baobab is native to Africa, Madagasca and Australia.
Some people call it the upside-down tree because its branches are such and unusual shape – they look more like roots growing through the air. Some people call it a bottle tree because of the way it stores liquid so well.
lt bears nutritious fruits and leaves. The seeds are high in vitamin C, calcium and vegetable protein. lt doesn’t bear flowers until it is 20 years old and then flowers throughout the year. The flowers are pollinated by bats.
Many animals feed on its leaves, flowers and fruit.
The tree grows to 25m tall and is extremely long lived; up to 3,000 years before it rots away from the inside and then collapses.
lt can store thousands of gallons of water in the spongy wood of its trunk and this store of water can save many people’s lives in times of drought.
There is a layer of fibre beneath its bark which can be used to make rope and cloth.
The hollow trunks can provide living space for birds, bats and reptiles. Even humans have been known to use the inside of a tree as a storeroom!
The timber does not have as much value as other trees and in a place of deforestation, in places like Madagasca, often only the baobabs are left standing.
lf you are interested, the fruit products are available on the lnternet, so you don’t need to be a local to enjoy them!
Have a look in the picture gallery to see what all these trees look like.
lf you like my blog, please support it by telling all your friends and followers about it.
And see you again next Fun Friday!
Love and kisses
Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Week
Bill: When do doctors get angry?
Bob: l don’t know.
Bill: When they run out of patients!
Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.
Links may be used to www.christina-sinclair.com
THE SALTY SAM NEWS DESK
This week, Miss Pringle told her class about her idea to raise funds for school equipment for schools abroad.
All the children said they would be willing to help.
Who knows where this new adventure would take them!
Miss Pringle sent letters home with the children asking parents to help.
She wanted to know if they were willing to help and what time they would be available the following weekend. There were tear-off slips at the bottom of the letters for the parents to fill in.
Of course, Captain Jack and I said we would help too.
Calico Jack announced the project on his radio show and things were soon underway.
Miss Pringle put posters up around town and Auntie Alice said she would help organize everything as she had more time on her hands than Miss Pringle.
Auntie Alice’s e-mail address was at the bottom of each poster.
Anyone who wanted a job done could e-mail her and she would make a note of what needed doing and when they would be home to receive a group of helpers.
She allocated a team of so many adults and so many children for each task and put it in a time slot on a timetable.
She already knew how many volunteers she could use.
Friday evening she would work with Miss Pringle to organize who would be doing what. Miss Pringle would go round to Auntie Alice’s cottage after work and they would have dinner together. Then they would have all evening to formulate their plans.
Then first thing on Saturday morning, after a hearty breakfast, everyone planned to meet up outside the school to receive their schedules.
Miss Pringle would provide people with thick gloves, bin bags, buckets and sponges if they needed them.
I will tell you how things go this weekend next week!
Meanwhile in class, Miss Pringle gave her class an idioms quiz – do you know what these phrases mean?
- money doesn’t grow on trees
- barking up the wrong tree
- a tree is known by its fruit
- tight as bark on a tree
- be out of your tree
- a tree hugger
- the apple never falls far from the tree
TO ADVERTISE ON THIS BLOG
Baobab trees are the world’s largest succulent and is very easy to grow as a bonsai tree in a pot.
A baobab can live outside and tolerate high temperatures and drought.
Growing from seed may be difficult because they are most unlikely to all be viable. So plant more than you need.
Before sowing, soak the seeds for one day in warm water and scratch a little on some sandpaper to expose the inner white layer.
Sow 5cm deep and keep the soil damp but not wet. The germination can take months so don’t give up on them too soon.
Once your plants have roots they can be put into small pots.
Alternatively, you can take cuttings in spring and let them dry out before putting them into a potting compost with sand mixed into it. Using cactus compost is the easiest way to go.
Keep your plants warm and let them have sunshine.
Don’t overwater them.
Feed should be high in potassium but low in nitrogen and should be given once a month. Don’t feed you plant in winter and don’t water so often.
Don’t worry if the leaves fall off in autumn; they will grow back in the spring.
Repot when the roots are coming to the surface, showing that the tree is pot bound.
lt’s the Weekend!
HOW TO MAKE DOLLS’ HOUSE CUSHlONS
These cushions are quick and easy to make for nimble fingers and can be made of any colour to match the colour scheme of the room you are making them for.
The fluffy, round cushion is just a bobble with a tiny button sewn onto it.
The square cushions are little squares of knitting.
CUSHION (KNIT TWO)
Using 4mm knitting needles and light blue dk yarn cast on 8 stitches
Knit 8 rows of stocking stitch
TO MAKE UP
Using over-sew stitching and with wrong sides together sew three side seams
Push a little stuffing into the cushion and sew up the last side
Sew a tiny button onto the centre of the cushion
Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.
It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.
Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.
©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015
Quick Quiz Answers
Answers to the News Desk Quiz
- money doesn’t grow on trees – money is not easy to come by
- barking up the wrong tree – looking in the wrong direction
- a tree is known by its fruit – you are known by what you do/judged by what you do
- tight as bark on a tree – frugal/careful with your money
- be out of your tree – crazy
- a tree hugger – an environmentalist
- the apple never falls far from the tree – children are very often just like their parents