The Tree of Life: a 2000-Year-Old Baobab Tree Found in South Africa

The Baobab tree, also known as the Tree of Life, in South Africa is 2000-year-old and this species of trees can live up to 2,500 years. This enormous and impressive tree has hollowed out trunks which can provide shade for as many as 40 people. The tree can hold up to 4500 liters of water too.

The tree’s fibers can be used for the production of ropes and cloths whereas its fresh leaves are often consumed as a way to strengthen the immunity.

Baobab’s Amazing Healing Properties

This tree has three times more vitamin C than orange and 50 percent more calcium than spinach. Moreover, it’s also rich in antioxidants- molecules that have been found to help lower the chance for cancer and heart illness.

The African baobab is indeed an impressive species, not solely because of its lifespan and size, but in the specific way it grows fused stems.

In the area between the stems is where the bark grows and this is unique to the baobab. Believe it or not, this tree has more than 300 uses. Its seeds are often roasted and used as coffee substitute or pressed as oil for cosmetics or cooking.

The locals use the fruit pulp to turn it into jam, juice or fermented for beer. Its flowers are also edible whereas its roots can be used for the making of red dye.

This tree also produces a great fruit which is considered by many to be a superfood.

But, the sad news is that these amazing nature gifts are dying out. Will we be witnessing a future without these gorgeous and beneficial trees?

Baobabs Are Dying Out, Researchers Find

In the past decade, 9 out of 13’s Africa’s largest and oldest baobab trees have died. These trees that were aged between 1,100 and 2,500 years old were apparently victims of the climate change.

Scientists note that warming temperatures have either killed the trees or weakened them and made them more prone to disease, fire, wind, and drought.

These trees aren’t the sole ones influenced by climate changes. In fact, the pinyon forests and Ponderosa pines in the West of America are increasingly dying out due to the increase in warmth in the region during the summer.

There are 9 different species of baobab in the world, 1 in the mainland of Africa which can grow to the biggest size and to the oldest age, 6 in Madagascar, and 1 in Australia.

Dying out of these trees will therefore be a major loss of income for the locals, but loss of an important cultural element.

These trees are a vital aspect of the community’s cultural life and they’re mentioned in a lot of African oral stories as well as in the famous The Little Prince book.

Sources:

INDEPENDENT

HOW AFRICA