The Environment, Culture and Prosperity

The Environment, Culture and Prosperity

The healing capacity of an indigenous forest

  • The natural health and fertile beauty in this indigenous Juniper forest (40) illuminates with precision the healing ability of a native forest and the severe nature and habitat destruction that occurred at the introduction of the Eucalyptus tree.

  • The importance of careful research regarding knowledge in natural science is here given a severe and evident example before any foreign species is regarded as possible for an introduction into an unfamiliar and very possibly vulnerable habitat.

  • A chemical component with an intricate competition-oriented toxic defence system in the leaves and roots of Eucalyptus trees prevents the growth of both other trees and herbs. This chemical component leads to a mono-culture with eucalyptus as the only tree species and eventually no ground cover.

The Torrential Rains and Erosion

  • This chemical component causes severe erosion, easily observed in the water running through Addis Ababa in connection with the rainy seasons. For every rain period, the layer of fertile soil gets thinner. If nothing is done now, there will be nothing left for new vegetation in a couple of years, and the erosion will be irreversible.

  • Erosion: Because there is no ground cover, the only thing to hold the soil is the web of roots of the trees. The soil-holding capacity of eucalyptus is very moderate compared with the indigenous trees initially covering the slopes of Entoto.

  • When the new indigenous forest has grown for some years and action has been taken to halt the erosion, the risk of flooding will be eliminated as a final result of soil and infiltration of water (permeability) capacity well above today's situation. Due to a possible future return of native forest, a balance could be obtained between the constraints of the landscape and the land use by man, there spontaneously, and by the introduction of new animals will enrich the present wildlife.

                                                     The Environment, Culture and Prosperity

The indigenous Podocarpus falcatus (P. gracilior) tree is scarce at Entoto these days and does not appear to compete with the eucalyptus planted surroundings. It seems that it is no longer possible to give surviving progeny in the barren, eroded exposed lands that have been formed since the introduction of the alien eucalyptus tree over a hundred years ago.

However, much work has been done to re-form an upper soil layer with a protective undergrowth. It would, therefore, be a very significant surprise with information about a new generation of this highly-blessed historic tree, which, however, still grows in a magical graceful and appealing landscape.

This tree has an exposed and sensitive seed-laying design opposite its otherwise healthy rugged seed coat, including its fruit (cones). Here its nut-like dry last year's pendants decorate the mighty mother trees with their seed (cones) in ancient-looking packagings that surround and protect the very fertile seed and provide inspiring, sophisticated memories from last year's season.

The fact that this tree is related to Juniper appears with clarity, and it is in this context, difficulties arise with the seed's vulnerability. The Podocarpus tree seed and its stem are considerably longer than the corresponding comparison with the Juniper tree seed and hence higher and more vulnerable to climates and grazing animals.

An unprecedented vulnerability arises because the two related species have the same peculiarity to lift their seeds up from the ground to the height of their crisp stalk. This vulnerability with an exposed uplifted grain applies, particularly to the Podocarpus tree. This species makes this seed presented with utmost sensibility and thus becomes an immediate victim on a hard and away offensive clay-soil crust.

An evolutionary legacy from times of natural wealth

This peculiarity in seed design of setting kernels to sprout with the high lift was developed at the beginning of these trees' era (evolution) and in epochs long before any human culture or species. Through this evolutionary prehistory, these seed stalks and kernels were naturally received with a moist, typically loose and absorbing soil (humus) and a surrounding of dense protective undergrowth that could hide and shield these so tender exposed vertically raised kernel stalks.

A beautiful memory that attracts modern science and art. 

With glowing passion and warmth feeling, it is still spoken among the residents of Entoto about when the water level a reasonable time after the rainy season still stood one metre higher. This beautiful memory is still very vivid today, and the profound history of Entoto's rock sheltered streams and its enchanting nature rock baths. It is thus quite close to the time when Entoto's mountain massif and its canyons could carry significantly higher water quantity and therefore supply the population in the capital with fresh water to a much greater extent.-

Conclusion and Wonderful Solution

The stalk of this tree's seed is considerably more significant in height at an early stage of its soil germination than the equivalent of the Juniper tree seed. An exposed vulnerability is thus evident. Because they have the uniqueness of raising their seeds to the height of their brittle stems, an excellent and traditional solution arises; Rosa abyssinica.,_spines,_and_prickles

More information about the tree in the picture:

Ethiopian Heritage Trust (UK)


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