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Quercus robur

Botanical Name : Quercus robur
Family: Fagaceae
Genus:     Quercus
Section: Quercus
Species: Q. rob
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Fagales

Synonym: Tanner’s Bark.

Common Names :Oak, English oak or pedunculate oak or French oak

Habitat :   Quercus robur is native to Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to Spain, the Urals and Crimea. It grows often on the dominant woodland tree, especially on clay soils and in the eastern half of Britain, but avoiding acid peat and shallow limestone soils

Description:
Quercus robur is a large deciduous tree, with circumference of grand oaks from 4 m (13 ft) to exceptional 12 m (39 ft).[citation needed] Majesty Oak with the circumference of 12.2 m (40 ft) is the thickest tree in Great Britain,[citation needed] and Kaive Oak in Latvia with the circumference of 10.2 m (33 ft) is the thickest tree in Northern Europe.[citation needed] Q. robur has lobed and nearly sessile (very short-stalked) leaves 7–14 cm (2.8–5.5 in) long. Flowering takes place in mid spring, and their fruit, called acorns, ripen by the following autumn. The acorns are 2–2.5 cm (0.79–0.98 in) long, pedunculate (having a peduncle or acorn-stalk, 3–7 cm (1.2–2.8 in) long) with one to four acorns on each peduncle.

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It is a long-lived tree, with a large widespreading crown of rugged branches. While it may naturally live to an age of a few centuries, many of the oldest trees are pollarded or coppiced, both pruning techniques that extend the tree’s potential lifespan, if not its health. Two individuals of notable longevity are the Stelmuž? Oak in Lithuania and the Granit oak in Bulgaria, which are believed to be more than 1,500 years old, possibly making them the oldest oaks in Europe; another specimen, called the ‘Kongeegen’ (‘Kings Oak’), estimated to be about 1,200 years old, grows in Jaegerspris, Denmark.[citation needed] Yet another can be found in Kvilleken, Sweden, that is over 1,000 years old and 14 metres (46 ft) around.[2] Of maiden (not pollarded) specimens, one of the oldest is the great oak of Ivenack, Germany. Tree-ring research of this tree and other oaks nearby gives an estimated age of 700 to 800 years old. Also the Bowthorpe Oak in Lincolnshire, England is estimated to be 1,000 years old making it the oldest in the UK, although there is Knightwood Oak in the New Forest which is also said to be as old. Highest density of the Q. robur grand oaks with a circumference 4 metres (13 ft) and more is in Latvia.

Cultivation:
Prefers a good deep fertile loam which can be on the stiff side. Young plants tolerate reasonable levels of side shade. Succeeds in heavy clay soils and in wet soils so long as the ground is not water-logged for long periods. Dislikes dry or shallow soils but is otherwise drought tolerant once it is established. Tolerant of exposed sites though it dislikes salt-laden winds. The oak is a very important timber tree in Britain, it is also a very important food plant for the caterpillars of many species of butterfly, there are 284 insect species associated with this tree. It has often been coppiced or pollarded for its wood in the past, though this should not be done too frequently, about once every 50 years is the average. The tree flowers on new growth produced in spring, the seed ripening in its first year. Older trees have a thick corky bark and this can protect them from forest fires, young trees will often regenerate from the base if cut down or killed back by a fire. Intolerant of root disturbance, trees should be planted in their permanent positions whilst young. Hybridizes freely with other members of the genus. Immune to attacks by the tortix moth. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – it quickly loses viability if it is allowed to dry out. It can be stored moist and cool overwinter but is best sown as soon as it is ripe in an outdoor seed bed, though it must be protected from mice, squirrels etc. Small quantities of seed can be sown in deep pots in a cold frame. Plants produce a deep taproot and need to be planted out into their permanent positions as soon as possible, in fact seed sown in situ will produce the best trees. Trees should not be left in a nursery bed for more than 2 growing seasons without being moved or they will transplant very badly.

Edible Uses: Coffee; Gum.

Seed – cooked. Nourishing but indigestible. Chopped and roasted, the seed is used as an almond substitute[8]. It can be dried, ground into a powder and used as a thickening in stews etc or mixed with cereals for making bread. The seed contains bitter tannins, these can be leached out by thoroughly washing the seed in running water though many minerals will also be lost. Either the whole seed can be used or the seed can be dried and ground it into a powder. It can take several days or even weeks to properly leach whole seeds, one method was to wrap them in a cloth bag and place them in a stream. Leaching the powder is quicker. A simple taste test can tell when the tannin has been leached. The traditional method of preparing the seed was to bury it in boggy ground overwinter. The germinating seed was dug up in the spring when it would have lost most of its astringency. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute. An edible gum is obtained from the bark. Another report says that an edible manna is obtained from the plant and that it is used instead of butter in cooking. This report probably refers to the gum.

Medicinal Uses:
The astringent effects of the Oak were well known to the Ancients, by whom different parts of the tree were used, but it is the bark which is now employed in medicine. Its action is slightly tonic, strongly astringent and antiseptic. It has a strong astringent bitter taste, and its qualities are extracted both by water and spirit. The odour is slightly aromatic.

Like other astringents, it has been recommended in agues and haemorrhages, and is a good substitute for Quinine in intermittent fever, especially when given with Chamomile flowers.

It is useful in chronic diarrhoea and dysentery, either alone or in conjunction with aromatics. A decoction is made from 1 OZ. of bark in a quart of water, boiled down to a pint and taken in wineglassful doses. Externally, this decoction has been advantageously employed as a gargle in chronic sore throat with relaxed uvula, and also as a fomentation. It is also serviceable as an injection for leucorrhoea, and applied locally to bleeding gums and piles.

Other Uses:
Quercus robur’ is planted for forestry, and produces a long-lasting and durable heartwood, much in demand for interior and furniture work. The wood of Q. robur is identified by a close examination of a cross-section perpendicular to fibres. The wood is characterised by its distinct (often wide) dark and light brown growth rings. The earlywood displays a vast number of large vessels (~0.5 mm (0.020 in) diameter). There are rays of thin (~0.1 mm (0.0039 in)) yellow or light brown lines running across the growth rings. The timber is around 720 kg (1,590 lb) per cubic meter in density.

Within its native range Quercus robur is valued for its importance to insects and other wildlife. Numerous insects live on the leaves, buds, and in the acorns. Q.robur supports the highest biodiversity of insect herbivores of any British plant (>400 spp). The acorns form a valuable food resource for several small mammals and some birds, notably Eurasian Jays Garrulus glandarius. Jays were overwhelmingly the primary propagators of oaks before humans began planting them commercially, because of their habit of taking acorns from the umbra of its parent tree and burying it undamaged elsewhere. Mammals, notably squirrels who tend to hoard acorns and other nuts most often leave them too abused to grow in the action of moving or storing them.

Quercus robur is cultivated as an ornamental tree in the temperate regions of most continents. A number of cultivars are grown in gardens and parks and in arboreta and botanical gardens. The most common cultivar is Quercus robur ‘Fastigiata’, and is the exception among Q. robur cultivars which are generally smaller than the standard tree, growing to between 10–15 m and exhibit unusual leaf or crown shape characteristics.

Known Hazards : Possible digestive complaints. May delay absorption of alkaloids and other alkaline drugs

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/o/oakcom01.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quercus_robur

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Quercus+robur

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The Heart of Unknowing

Who Am I? .……………..
At some point in our lives, or perhaps at many points in our lives, we ask the question, “Who am I?” At times like these, we are looking beyond the obvious, beyond our names and the names of the cities and states we came from, into the layers beneath our surface identities. We may feel the need for a deeper sense of purpose in our lives, or we may be ready to accommodate a more complex understanding of the situation in which we find ourselves. Whatever the case, the question of who we are is a seed that can bear much fruit.

It can send us on an exploration of our ancestry, or the past lives of our soul. It can call us to take up journaling in order to discover that voice deep within us that seems to know the answers to a multitude of questions. It can draw our attention so deeply inward that we find the spark of spirit that connects us to every living thing in the universe. One Hindu tradition counsels its practitioners to ask the question over and over, using it as a mantra to lead them inevitably into the heart of the divine.

While there are people who seem to come into the world knowing who they are and why they are here, for the most part the human journey appears to be very much about asking this question and allowing its answers to guide us on our paths. So when we find ourselves in the heart of unknowing, we can have faith that we are in a very human place, as well as a very divine one. “Who am I?” is a timeless mantra, a Zen koan ultimately designed to lead us home, into the part of our minds that finally lets go of questions and answers and finds instead the ability to simply be.

Source: Daily Om

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Tulsi to The Envournmental Rescue

….TULSI->.
Will This Wonderful Herb Save the Taj Mahal From Environmental Pollution?

Tulsi, commonly called “sacred” or “holy basil,” is a principle herb of Ayurveda, India‘s ancient holistic health system. In India, the Tulsi herb has been widely known for its health-promoting properties — for body, mind, and spirit — for over 5,000 years.

What is Tulsi?
In India the Tulsi herb is worshipped as a sacred plant. It is a part of Indian households, typically grown in earthen pots in the family home or garden. It is also an important part of India’s holistic health system and because of its potential health benefits, it has been for centuries.

Tulsi is rich in antioxidants and contains hundreds of beneficial compounds known as phytochemicals. These compounds possess potential adaptogenic properties, which means they may help your body adapt to and resist stress, as well as immune-enhancing properties that may help promote your general health.

It’s because of these numerous and wide-ranging benefits that I now recommend Tulsi tea as a delicious and healthy alternative to coffee. But there was something else that really drew me to one company in particular, Organic India.

This company, which manufactures Original Tulsi Tea Mix and Holy Basil Capsules, is committed to helping preserve and enrich the environment, and their latest endeavor with the Taj Mahal is evidence of that.

How Can Tulsi Help the Taj Mahal?
The Taj Mahal, the 17th century monument that is now revered as the finest example of Muslim art in India, is being constantly bombarded by air pollution. In fact, its white marble walls are now turning yellow, the result of airborne particles that are being deposited there.

Among the main culprits are automobiles and industry, which release high levels of sulfur dioxide emissions. When sulfur dioxide combines with oxygen and moisture, it contributes to a destructive fungus referred to as “marble cancer,” which corrodes the marble.

Now, a joint exercise being undertaken by the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department and Organic India will plant 1 million Tulsi saplings near the Taj Mahal in an effort to protect it from this environmental pollution.

Why Tulsi?
Organic India’s CEO Krishan Gupta explains:
“It is one of the best plants which purifies the environment. Its cleansing action is due to its property to release high amounts of oxygen, which minimizes the adverse impact of industrial and refinery emission.”

Organic India has committed to providing 1 million Tulsi saplings to plant near the Taj Mahal and in the surrounding city, this year.

Already, saplings have been distributed free of charge in the city by forest officials, and local people and schools were encouraged to participate in the plantation drive.

This is just the type of solution I like most: simple and natural, yet extremely effective and powerful.

Forest officials believe Tulsi will be able to absorb harmful gasses from the air and serve to insulate the area from environmental pollution. Plus, because Tulsi has such esteemed religious significance in India, they are confident that people in the area will care for the plants.

You may click to know more about Organic India

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

Reuters.com May 15, 2007
Unesco.org July 2000
Decan Herald February 4, 2009

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