“There is so much to learn by simply observing a tree”

says 12-year-old Daanya Purohit, as she responds to The Good Story Project’s call for ‘tree stories’. Purohit, who is a nature enthusiast, wants us all to take more notice of the trees around us, and to nurture them in public and private spaces so that we can enjoy greener and vibrant neighbourhoods as well as forested areas.

Trees are always around us whether it’s in our residential building, garden, or streets. We see them in our everyday life. They come in different colours, shapes and sizes, each tree being unique in its own special way. Even though trees are everywhere, we hardly take the time to notice their uniqueness and beauty.

There is so much to learn by simply observing a tree. One tree alone can house an entire ecosystem. When I go on my morning walks I observe the trees that grow in our neighbourhood. I spot birds and their nests, beehives, caterpillars, ants, termites, snakes and even other plants like climbers and creepers that grow on/or take the support of tall trees. It’s really amazing how a single tree has such a jaw dropping diversity of creatures and other fauna.

There are months when I see barren branches with no leaves at all, and I wonder if the tree is feeling dry and dead. Yet as the season turns, I see lush green leaves filling up the emptiness on the branches. There are periods when trees are filled with flowers, and then with fruits. But one thing remains common through all these changing seasons, and it is the fact that a tree supports many lives.

Unfortunately, today trees are in danger. We wipe out hundreds of trees in few hours. I have seen this happen at the Aarey Forests of Mumbai. In one night, an entire forest was cut down. I had felt very sad then, as along with the trees the wildlife that it supported was either displaced or destroyed.

People say we can always plant more trees. Planting trees is not same as growing a forest. A forest has many layers that support and maintain an entire ecosystem. It takes only a few years to grow a tree, but it takes many decades to make a forest.

However, the beautiful part is that nature has its own way of coming back. There is a local badam tree in my neighbourhood. Throughout the rainy season many wildflowers grew around it. As summer appeared the shrubs dried up, and people set fire in the patch to clear it. A large part of the badam tree was cut too. I thought that the tree was dead. But few days ago, with the drizzle of rain, I saw tiny, soft, green branches shooting out of the cut-down trunk. Life was flourishing again.

About the author: Dhanya is a nature enthusiast from Goa. She loves to observe butterflies and moths, their life cycle and behaviour. After completing the Butterflies for Beginners Certificate Course from INaturewatch Foundation, she started hand-raising caterpillars. She writes a blog and has also written several articles for newspapers and digital publications. She wants to be a naturalist when she grows up.  

Note: This article was published in collaboration with Bookosmia, India’s No 1 creative platform for kids. To know more about how under-18s can get their original published check — https://bookosmia.com/get-published/

While the article reflects the original views, tone and distinct style of the author, it has been edited for clarity and other purposes by Prerna Shah.

The image used in the article is only for representation purposes and is sourced from Pexels.com.

You can find out more about our tree series here.