Baobab Trees

Giant African baobab trees die suddenly after thousands of years
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The fruit pulp has six times more vitamin C than oranges , making it an important nutritional complement in Africa and in the European, US and Canadian markets.

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Locally, fruit pulp is made into juice, jam, or fermented to make beer. The young seedlings have a taproot which can be eaten like a carrot. The flowers are also edible. The roots can be used to make red dye, and the bark to make ropes and baskets. Baobabs also have medicinal properties , and their hollow trunks can be used to store water. Baobab crowns also provide shade, making them an idea place for a market in many rural villages.

And of course, the trade in baobab products provides an income for local communities. Baobab trees also play a big part in the cultural life of their communities, being at the centre of many African oral stories. They even appear in The Little Prince. Baobab trees are not only useful to humans, they are key ecosystem elements in the dry African savannas.

Cultivating baobab

Importantly, baobab trees keep soil conditions humid, favour nutrient recycling and avoid soil erosion. They also act as an important source of food, water and shelter for a wide range of animals, including birds, lizards, monkeys and even elephants — which can eat their bark to provide some moisture when there is no water nearby. The flowers are pollinated by bats , which travel long distances to feed on their nectar. Numerous insects also live on the baobab tree. Ancient as they are, baobab trees can be cultivated , as some communities in West Africa have done for generations.

In such areas the tradition often prohibits to cut down a baobab.

The Conversation

Adansonia is a genus of deciduous trees known as baobabs. They are found in arid regions of Madagascar, mainland Africa, Arabia, and Australia. The generic. Baobab is the common name of a genus of trees (Adansonia). There are nine species. Six species live in the drier parts of Madagascar, two in mainland Africa, .

The tree begins to bloom for the first time at the age of 20 years. It flowers throughout the year, regardless of weather conditions. The fruits of the tree develop about five to six months after flowering. These ovoid fruits have a hard wooden shell, which is covered by green and yellow hair. Inside the fruit are several seeds, which are in a powdery white flesh.

The Majestic Baobab Tree - Learn Facts about Tree and Baobab Fruit

The Baobab is very important for humans and animals in the arid regions of Africa. Many animals feed on its leaves, flowers and fruits. A baobab tree, Lower Zambezi in Zambia. In Johannesburg, where he is senior scientist at iThemba labs, Woodborne uses accelerator mass spectrometry, a form of radiocarbon dating, to determine the ages of these trees.

Of the 11 trees that are in that age 1, to 2, years, six of them have died," he said.

Giant African baobab trees die suddenly after thousands of years | World news | The Guardian

It's not baobabs in general. It's only baobabs that are at the southern margin," said Woodborne.

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However, further research is necessary to support or refute this supposition," the authors of the report wrote. Baobabs often have hollow trunks.

In the past humans have used their massive internal cavities as storage houses, prisons -- even drinking dens. For more than two decades, the Sunland baobab in South Africa was a popular attraction where tourists could order a glass of wine from a bar built inside the tree's more than 1,year-old hollow trunk. That is until last year when the tree split, following earlier breaks in A few minutes later, 10 minutes later, then the big crash happened," recalled Heather van Heerden, who owned the bar inside Sunland baobab and on whose farm the tree stood.

Photos: Why are baobab trees in Southern Africa dying? A dying split baobab in Limpopo province, South Africa. Scientists, working independently, have identified potential dangers for both the youngest and oldest trees in its southern-most growing regions. Hide Caption. Pictured: About 1, women in the village of Muswodi Dipeni, in the northern province of Limpopo, earn a living by harvesting the furry, hard-shelled baobab fruit pods. The seeds and chalky powder inside the baobab fruit have been used in everything from flavored soda, ice cream and chocolate to gin and cosmetics.

see An icon of the African savannah. These trees represents the oldest living organism in Africa.

Africa's Baobab Trees Are Dying

Some have been around since before the time of the ancient Greeks. An aerial view of a baobab tree in South Africa. The baobab tree, can live to be 3, years old, and can grow as wide as the length of a bus measuring a girth of 53 meters, and a height of 22 meters. The local Vhavenda or Venda people in South Africa call this mystical giant "the tree that roars", after the sound the wind creates when playing between the oddly shaped branches.

Pafuri baobab tree. A baobab tree stands alone in South Africa.

Africa's Oldest Baobab Trees Are Likely Victims Of Climate Change

Cultural beliefs about the baobab tree are deeply rooted in African history. Still today, traditional healers and diviners communicate with their ancestors under its gnarled branches. It's believed that the tree's spirits will guide them in their decision-making. The "Avenue of the Baobabs" was designated as a protected zone in after a sugar factory flooded the area with water for several years and farmers started cultivating rice on the lands, causing ancestral baobab trees to rot and fall.

The site was restored through conservation efforts. If you get cut, blood comes out.