Tree-Baobab Yellow TB
Sunday, 26 February 2017
Texas, United States
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About This Item
This is one of a series of wooden ring TBs named for famous trees.
Baobab is the common name of a genus of trees (Adansonia) of which there are eight species. Six species live in Madagascar, one in mainland Africa, and one in Australia. The baobab is the national tree of Madagascar. The trees reach heights of 16 to 98 ft and trunk diameters 23 to 36 ft. Its trunk can hold up to 120,000 litres of water. For most of the year, the tree is leafless, and looks very much like it has its roots sticking up in the air.
The trees are long-lived, but just how long is disputed. The owners of Sunland Farm in Limpopo, South Africa have built a pub called "The Big Baobab Pub" inside the hollow trunk of the 72 ft high tree. The tree is 155 ft in circumference, and is said to have been carbon dated at over 6,000 years old.
The baobab tree is known as the tree of life, with good reason. It can provide shelter, clothing, food, and water for the animal and human inhabitants of the African savannah regions. The cork-like bark and huge stem are fire resistant and are used for making cloth and rope. The leaves are used as condiments and medicines. The fruit, called "monkey bread", is edible, and full of vitamin C. As of 2010 experts estimate the potential international market at a billion dollars a year.
The Baobab figures mightily in The Little Prince, first published in 1943, is a novella and the most famous work of the French aristocrat, writer, poet and pioneering aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The novella is both the most-read and most-translated book in the French language, and was voted the best book of the 20th century in France. I read it as a young adult and gave a copy to my daughter when she was twelve.
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