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Maple: Acer rubrum
12 4th, 2016

Maple (http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/treelore/?p=1875). Gingko Tree Petrified Forest ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25979). Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 29, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Maple (http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/treelore/?p=1875). Gingko Tree Petrified Forest ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25979). Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 29, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Maple

Article by Thomas Baurley, Leaf McGowan, Technogypsie Research www.technogypsie.com on December 3, 2016.

Taxonomy: Kingdom: Plantae; Angiosperms; Eudicots; Rosids; Order: Sapindales; Family: Sapindaceae or Aceraceae; Subfamily: Hippocastanoideae; Genus: Acer; Acer rubrum

Common Names: Maple, Red Maple, Maple Syrup, Swamp maple

Locality/Habitat/Cultivation:
The Genus Acer can be found all over Asia, Europe, Northern Africa, and North America. Acer laurinum extends to the southern Hemisphere. Acer pseudoplatanus (Sycamore Maple) is the most common found in Europe. The most common, the Red Maple, is one of the most popular and common in the eastern deciduos forests of North America. They are very common in New England and the Northeast, especially Maine west to Minnesota, south to Texas, and east to Florida. The tree is hardy tolerating a wide range of habitats, conditions, and locales. They prefer shady or sunny locations with dry or wet soils, and can range from high to low elevations. They have adaptable roots that do well in most soil types, though deep acidic moist soils are its preference. They live approximately 80-100 years, with some as old as 200. Seeds mature 3 weeks to 6 months after flowering, with seed dispersal after maturity, able to release hundreds of thousands of seeds at once.

Description: Acer/Maple trees and shrubs with over 128 known species and are deciduous, known for their leaf colors, and shade tolerant in youth riparian understory or pioneer in adulthood. The trees generally grow upwards of 60-90 feet in height, though the largest recorded was 120 feet. Maple shrubs don’t usually exceed more than 33 feet in height. The branches are generally palmate, veined, and lobed with 3-9 veins each leading to a lobe that is central or apical that bud small red flowers from March to April, with fruit in April to June. On the Red Maple (Acer rubrum) regular, pentamerous, raceme/corymb/or umbel borne 4-5 petal 1-6 mm long green/yellow/orange/or red flowers hosting 4-10 6-10 mm long stamens and two pistils hosting a superior two carpeled ovary with elongate wings with 4-5 sepals produce the fruits are called samaras which have an enclosed seed at one end with a thin dry wing-like projection on the other end some nickname whirlybirds or helicopters as they spin when falling from the trees. Roots are dense and fibrous blocking growth of other plants around them.

Common/General Uses:

Red maples produce a sap that is edible, and is the source of “maple syrup”. Sugar maples produce the most sugary syrups on the market. This is eaten or drunk as a culinary desert or topping, especially on pancakes, waffles, and deserts. Furniture and flooring is made from its wood, as are clothespins, musical instruments, and boxes (especially from the Red Maple). The trees are often planted as ornamentals in landscaping as they grow fast and easy to plant. Dried wood is often used in smoking meats. Charcoal from maples is used in making Tennessee whisky. Hard maples is used to make bowling pins, bowling lanes, pool cue shafts, butcher’s blocks, wooden baseball bats, and a core material in limbs of recurve bow due to its strength and stiffness. The backs/sides/necks of most stringed instruments like violas, violins, cellos, electric guitars, and double basses are usually maple. Maple recorders, bassoons, and drums are also often made from maple.

Medicinal Uses: coming soon.

Magical Uses: coming soon.

Spirituality: coming soon.

Folklore: Canadians use the Maple Leaf as their coat of arms and icon for their flags representing strength and endurance.

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All photos and content copyrighted by Thomas Baurley, Leaf McGowan, Technogypsie Productions … www.technogypsie.com/photography.

Maple ( http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/treelore/?p=1875). Gingko Tree Petrified Forest ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25979). Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 29, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Maple ( http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/treelore/?p=1875). Gingko Tree Petrified Forest ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25979). Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 29, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

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Gingko Tree Petrified Forest ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25979). Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf  and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 29, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan  and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Gingko Tree Petrified Forest ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25979). Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 29, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Gingko Petrified Forest
Vantage, Washington. http://parks.state.wa.us/288/Ginkgo-Petrified-Forest
Article by Thomas Baurley on 12/3/2016 ~

Enroute to a archaeological survey I was doing, we stopped the night at Wanapum State Park only to discover next door was the GIngko Petrified Forest. What a treasure trove lying within the Washington desert for any paleontology enthusiast. The park is approximately 7,470 acres including over 27,000 along the shoreline of the Wanapum Reservoir on the Columbia River. This petrified forest was once a tropical jungle that after cataclystic events became hardened into stone by volcanic activity and lava during the Miocene Period. It is located right off of Interstate 90. We took a hike along the “Trees of Stone” interpretative Trail, just down the road from the interpretive center. You have the option of the longer 2.5 mile loop or a 1.5 mile loop. Dotted along the trail are metal cages containing in situ various tree stumps and logs that were petrified long ago. There are over 22 species of trees that can be found on the paths. The petrified trees were discovered by a highway crew in 1927 led by geologist George F. Beck. In 1938 the Civilian Conservation Corps completed Beck’s excavations, built a museum here, and opening the park to the public. In 1965 it was designated a National Landmark by the National Park Service.
The interpretative center and museum tells the story of the forest, how it was formed, what life was like when it existed and how it is now. During the Miocene of the Neogene period (15.5 Million years ago), this area was a semi-humid jungle that was affected by volcanic fissures and lava flows that once came across the Columbia Plateau. These flows leveled the landscape that once was here, flattened and encased in basalt rock. During the burial, a chemical transformation converted the wood to stone by process of petrification when the minerals and silica from the volcanic ash mixes with ground water, penetrates and soaks into the wood, and mineralized it enough to make it rock. By the end of the last ice age, the catastrophic Missoula Floods around 15,000 BPE, the basalt was eroded and exposed some of the petrified wood. There are over 50 species found within the park including sweetgum, ginkgo, redwood, douglas fir, walnut, spruce, elm, maple, horse chestnut, cottonwood, magnolia, madroe, sassafras, yew, and witch hazel.

The Wanapum peoples lived in this region from the Columbia River to Beverly Gap onwards to the Snake River. They welcomed the white settlers during Lewis and Clark’s expedition. They used the petrified wood for lithic tools, carved petroglyphs in the basalt cliffs, and lived here by fishing or agriculture.

Nearby is the Wanapum campground for visitors to stay and be able to explore the ground over the course of a few days. Near the Interpretive center is a Gem shop where visitors can buy souvenirs and stones for their collections. There is collecting permitted on Saddle Mountain 14 miles away where collectors can gather up to 25 pounds a day or 250 pounds a year for personal use.

Walnut ( http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/treelore/?p=11050). Gingko Tree Petrified Forest ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25979). Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf  and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 29, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan  and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Walnut ( http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/treelore/?p=11050). Gingko Tree Petrified Forest ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25979). Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 29, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

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Olympic National Park (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26099), Washington. Exploring Olympic Peninsula - Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 25, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Olympic National Park (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26099), Washington.

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi: Kinnikinnick ~

Name: Arctostaphylos uva-ursi. Kingdom: Plantae; Angiosperms; Eudicots; Asterids; Order: Ericales; Family: Ericaceae; Genus: Arctostaphylos

Common Name: Bearberry, Kinnikinnick, bear berry, pinemat manzanita, arberry, bear’s grape, crowberry, foxberry, hog cranberry, kinnikinnick, mealberry, mountain box, mountain cranberry, mountain tobacco, sandberry, upland cranberry, uva-ursi

General Description: Because the plant is very much a favorite foodstuff of bears, it has earned the name “bearberry”. This wonderful plant is part of the Manzanita genus Arctostaphylos. It is named after the Latin term uva-ursi or meaning “grape of the bear”. It is a small procumbent woody ground cover shrub that grows between 5-30 cm high, growing evergreen shiny, small, thick, stiff alternating leaves that stay green for 1-3 years before they fall off the bush. The bottom of the leaves are lighter green than the tops. The shrub blossom white to pink flowers from May to June that also bear a red berry fruit measuring 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter that persist on into early winter. The stands of this bush can be extremely dense and hard to get through, though rarely growing taller than 6 inches. The erect branching twigs emerge from long flexible prostrate stems produced by single roots.

Locality/Cultivation: This shrub can be found appearing as one of three species of dwarf shrubs belonging to the genus Arctostaphylos. It is commonly used in gardens as an ornamental. Leaves are harvested during the summer and dried for use in extracts, infusions, teas, and tablets.

Common Uses: Bearberry is edible, but mealy and bland in taste. It is a major ingredient found in the Native American smoke mix called “kinnikinnick” (means “mixture” in Algonquin) and mixed with Tobacco by the First Nations peoples. The berries have been gathered by many people as a food. It is used as an ornamental plant in landscaping and to help control erosion.

Medicinal Uses: It has been identified as having a narcotic or stimulant effect when smoked. The leaves are used in herbal medicine. Some of the constituents within it are hydroquinones that are labelled hepatotoxic. It has been used in urinary tract infections. First labelled in medicinal applications by Gerhard in 1763, and first documented in the Physicians of Myddfai a 13th century herbal. It appeared in the London Pharmacopoeia in 1788. Marco Polo thought the Chinese used it as a diuretic. In Europe the leaves are used as a phytomedicine. While edible, large doses have been said to have caused fever, vomiting, nausea, chills, back pain, and tinnitus. Should be avoided by those pregnant or possessing kidney issues.

Magical Uses: Native Americans smoke it in a cermonial mix called “kinnikinnick” and use it both as a smudge or smoked in a sacred pipe carrying the smoker’s prayers to the Great Spirit. When creating the “kinnikinnick” it is often ixed with non-poisonous sumac, inner bark of red osier dogwood, chokecherry, and alder.

Folklore:

Spirituality: In ceremonies, Native American mixed bearberry with dogwood, chokecherry, and alder into a mix called “Kinnikinnick” that was used spiritually as well as medicinally, and seen by white Euro-American settlers as a narcotic (though sometimes mixed with tobacco and granting that effect). Early colonial European hunters, traders, and settlers used the mix as such too. While Eastern tribes also used it as a smoking mix socially, they did so ceremonially. The Ojibwa smoked it mixed with dried powdered room of Aster novae-angliae L or red willow or spotted willow.

Bearberry or Kinnickinnick. Original book source: Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885, Gera, Germany. he author died in 1925, so this work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published (or registered with the U.S. Copyright Office) before January 1, 1923.

Bearberry or Kinnickinnick. Original book source: Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885, Gera, Germany. he author died in 1925, so this work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 80 years or less.
This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published (or registered with the U.S. Copyright Office) before January 1, 1923.

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Olympic National Park (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26099), Washington. Exploring Olympic Peninsula - Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf  and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 25, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Olympic National Park (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26099), Washington.

Name: Mahonia aquifolium

Common Names: Oregon Grape, oregon-grape, oregon grape-holly, oregon holly-grape, oregongrape.

Description: A common species of the flowering evergreen shrub Berberidacea. Plant grows to 1 meter high x 1.5 meter in width has large pinnate leaves that grow approx. 10-50 cm in length with 5-15 spiny leaflets, and it flowers yellow clusters in racemes that are approx. 5-20 cm in length. Tends to have spiny, evergreen foliage with yellow flowers in the autumn, winter, and early spring. Produces blue-black berries.

Locality: Primarily from the Pacific Coast of North America. Name “aquifolium” means “holly leaved” referring to its spines.

Growing: Popular in shady or woodland environments. Resistant to summer drought and tolerates poor soils.

Culinary/Common Uses: Often used as a popular garden shrub or as an ornamental. Berries are edible and high in Vitamin C. Aboriginal peoples ate the berries in small quantities and mixed them with other sweeter fruits such as Salal. Today used to make jellies or mixed with salal. Its juices have been fermented to make wines. The inner bark of the larger stems and roots produce a yellow die, the berries a purple dye.

Medicinal Uses: Although edible, the plant contains berberine which can cause vomiting, lowered blood pressure, reduced heart rate, lethargy, and other effects if eaten in large quantities. Native American tribes have used it to treat dyspepsia. Some etrats have been used to treat inflammatory skin diseases such as psoriasis.

Magical Uses:

Folklore: State flower of Oregon

Religion:

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birch2
Betula pubescens / alba

Birch Tree
Article by Thomas Baurley, herbalist for Technogypsie Productions and The Tree Leaves’ Oracle. © 2014 – copyrighted and all rights reserved. Full on-going article and research diary here: http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/treelore/?p=1493. To purchase or obtain birch bark for your own use, purchase from us here: http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/shop/?post_type=tcp_product&p=4795.

Common Names: Betula alba, Birch, downy birch, moor birch, white birch, European white birch, hairy birch, Beithe, Bereza, Berke, Beth, Bouleau. The name comes from the Old English birce, bierce, or Proto-Germanic *berk-j?n and the generic name betula is from Latin.

Taxonomy: Kingdom: Plantae; Angiosperms; Eudicots; Rosids; Fagales; Betulaceae; Betula; Betula; Betula pubescens

Locality: Native throughout North America, Northern Europe, Iceland, Northern Asia, and Greenland. They love light, dry and acid soils and can cling to rocks on mountain sides. Growth preference in colder climates and can be found further north than most trees.

Description: Very common in European landscape and lore, it is one of the most common native broad-leaved trees. It is a deciduous tree Growing to a tall height of 10-30 meters in maturity with a slender crown and a trunk upwards of 70 cm thick with smooth dull grey-white bark marked with dark horizontal lenticels. The sapling starts out like a small shrub in its sapling phase with grey-brown finely down shoots – always with elegant, drooping branches providing a light canopy and whip like twigs. Ovate-acute 2-5 cm long and 1.5-4.5 cm broad finely serrated marginated leaves create wind-pollinated catkins that bloom early spring before the leaves sprout. This creates a pendulous cylindrical aggregate fruit that is approximately 1-4 cm long a nd 5-7 mm diameter in size disintegrating during maturity into individual seeds that are upwards of 2 mm long with two small wings along their sides. The tree bark has a white color and sheds layers like tissue paper – which is used by some as paper. The smooth twigs have little dark warts. The Downey birch has a greyish bark that doesn’t peel and twigs that are smooth with no warts, barks of both become rugged with darker diamond shaped crevices throughout growth. The leaves and flowers are small, triangular, pointed with a toothed edge producing female flowers called “catkins” beginning with a bright green maturing into a dark crimson throughout summer. Before the seeds drop to the ground, they hang off the tree like ‘lamb tails’. There are many species of “Birch” and sometimes this species gets confused with Betula pendula – the Silver Birch. In North America, these two trees are sometimes treated as conspecific, although in Europe are distinctly two different species. Best way to tell the difference is the Downey Birch (pubescens) has smooth, downy shoots that are hairless and warty in the silver birch (pendula). Downy’s bark is dull grey white while the silver birch has striking white papery bark with black fissures. Leaf margins differ as in downey being finely serrated and silver having coarse double-toothed margins. The downy birch is a tetraploid (4 sets of chromosomes) and the silver birch is a diploid (2 sets).

Cultivation: These are pioneer species with light wind blow seeds that can grow quickly on bare ground without planting. Preference of light, dry and acid soils. The birch stands up to harsh weather elements including wind, frost, and heat.

Common Uses: Commonly used in lotions, rinses, and creams for its fragrance. It was used by Native Americans to build canoes, wigwams and other structures as it is water-resistant. They are a preferred tree for their ability to provide a light open canopy with spaced small leaves giving light shade on the ground giving ability to grow mosses, grasses, and flowering planets beneath the canopy. A common timber tree in Scandinavia used as a pale, smooth, light hardwood for furniture, spools, bobbins, boxes, handles, and plywood. Smaller trees used for toys, tools, and handles. The bark is waterproof so used for roofing materials and tanning leather. Twigs are bound together as “besoms” and used as brushes or brooms. A tar made from the bark is thermoplastic and waterproof used as a glue for arrows and medicinal applications. Ground birch bark fermented in sea water is used to season wool, hemmp, or linen sails and ropes in Norwegian boats. As a firewood burns well without popping and very flammable.

Culinary: In Sweden the bark is ground up and used to make a bread, in Finland made into “mmmi” a traditional dish for Easter packed and baked in boxes of birch bark. In Iceland, the Bjork tree is used to make a sweet birch liquor. A birch beer root-beer like soda is made in northern regions.

Medicinal: Birch oil is a well known treatment for skin conditions and to repel insects. The tree sap is used as a natural shampoo and can be used as a remedy for dysentery and urinary infections. An infusion of the leaves is used as an antiseptic and diuretic. The bark soaked until moist in water can be formed into a cast for broken limbs.

Magical: Seen as having the powers of beginnings, renewal, protection, stability, and new journeys. Used in charms and talismans to ward off evil, banish fright, and instill courage. Associated with beauty, tolerance, and new beginnings. A broom made of birch is used by Witches to brush out the old year the morning of the Winter Solstice. Cut bark is added to protection spells. Birch beer is drank for protection from psychic attacks. Maypoles are commonly made of birch. Newborn cradles made to protect infants.

Folklore and Legends: Nicknamed by some modern Neo-Pagans as “The Lady of the Woods”. It is associated with the first Celtic Tree calendar month (December 24th – January 20th), and is prescribed as the first consonant of the Ogham alphabet “Beith”. Astrologically associated with the planet Venus and elements of air and water. It symbolizes renewal and protection as the Tree of Inception and New beginnings. Associated with Crystals, Daisies, Eagles, Pheasants, Egrets, and the color white. Associated with the Goddess Freya, Brigid, Venus, and Thor. Believed to ward off evil, fear, terror, and instill courage. The birch is commonly used in yule logs. The twigs used to light Beltane fires. Copulation in Birch forests encouraged pregnancy. In Celtic cultures, the birch symbolizes growth, renewal, stability, initiation and adaptability. The tree is also associated with the Tr na ng, the land of the dead and the Sidhe, in Gaelic folklore, and as such frequently appear in Scottish, Irish, and English folksongs and ballads in association with death, or fairies, or returning from the grave.

To purchase or obtain birch bark for your own use, purchase from us here: http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/shop/?post_type=tcp_product&p=4795.

    Bibliography:
  • Encyclopedia of Life “Betula pubescens”. Website referenced 10/26/2014 at http://eol.org/pages/1149353/overview.
  • Forestry Commission “Birch” Website referenced 10/26/2014 at http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/INFD-5NLDXL.
  • The Goddess Tree “Birch: The Lady of the Woods” Website referenced 10/26/2014 at http://www.thegoddesstree.com/trees/Birch.htm.
  • Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia “Betula pubescens”. Website reference 10/26/2014 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betula_pubescens.
  • Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia “Birch”. Website referenced 10/26/2014 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birch.

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Styrax Benzoin

Article by Thomas Baurley, Herbalist for Technogypsie Productions and Tree Leaves’ Oracle Botanicals. October 26, 2014: Technogypsie Press. © 2014: Copyright, All Rights Reserved. Benzoin Gum can be bought from us here: http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/shop/?p=4791

Genus/Species: Kingdom: Plantae; Angiosperms; Eudicots; Asterids; Ericales; Styracaceae : Styrax benzoin.

Common Names: gum benjamin tree, loban, kemenyan, onycha, snowbell, styrax, storax, sumatra benzoin tree, ben, benjamen, gum benzoin, Siam Benzoin, Siamese Benzoin.

Locality: Native to Sumatra in Indonesia. The Genus Styrax is found Warm temperate to tropical regions of the Northern Hemisphere, especially eastern and southeastern Asia.

Description: A common tree in Sumatra growing upwards of 12 meters. The Styrax Genus has over 130 species ranging from shrubs to small trees, one of which the benzoin belongs to. Possesses alternate, deciduous and/or evergreen simple ovate leaves 1-18 cm long and 2-10 cm broad with pendulous 5-10 lobed corolla flowers producing 3-30 on open or dense panicles 5-25 cm long, producing a oblong dry drupe fruit with smooth and/or lacking ribs or narrow wings.

Cultivation: It is harvested primarily for its resin in Indonesia, grown as an ornamental, and a shade tree in West Africa.

Styrax_benzoin_-_Khlers_Medizinal-Pflanzen-133
Styrax benzoin – Khlers Medizinal-Pflanzen-133 – Public Domain image, copyright expired.
This image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.
This applies to Australia, the European Union and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 70 years.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Styrax_benzoin#mediaviewer/File:Styrax_benzoin_-_K%C3%B6hler%E2%80%93s_Medizinal-Pflanzen-133.jpg

Culinary Uses: It is used to preserve fats.

Common Uses: Commonly used as a base in incense sticks, cones, and mixtures. It is an alternative to storax. The resin which comes from a dried exudation seeping from pierced bark. The chemical “benzoin” in small amounts can be found within as hydrocarbon styrene but too minute to work with today. It was first obtained from the Levant Styrax (Liquidambar orientalis) as an isolate and later industrially used to create styrene that is now used to create polystyrene plastics like styrofoam. The Styrax resin of most species is used for incense, medicines, and perfumes. Often used as an additive to cigarettes. The wood is used for woodworking and handcrafts. It is a common wood used in creating the koky? (??) or Japanese bowed instrument.

Magical Uses: A Masculine tree, astrologically aligned with the sun, element of air, and holds the powers of purification and prosperity. It is burnt to purify and is added to purification incenses. It is considered a fine “clearing” herb. Use as an incense mixed with cinnamon and basil and burn to attract customers to your place of business. Magical substitution for storax to which it is related.

Medicinal Uses: Minimally researched, but traditionally used in Islamic medicine that if mixed with other antibiotic materials and hardening material creates a good dental restorative material. It is also found as a ingredient in the “Theriaca Andromachi Senioris” Venice treacle recipe in the 1686 “d’Amsterdammer Apotheek”. The alcohol tincture was very popular in the 19th century for antibacterial applications, as first aid for small injuries, a disinfectant, local anesthetic, and used to promote healing. The tincture diluted with water acts as a mild stimulant and antiseptic for skin irritations. If taken internally known to act as a carminative as it is rapidly absorbed. It is a mild expectorant diuretic and antiseptic for urinary passage. In the Tincture of Benzoin, it is used as an inhalant with steam to treat bronchitis and laryngitis.

Folklore/Legend: In the Book of Exodus, the “nataf” of the incense sacred to Yahweh is loosely translated by the Greek term stakt? (??????, AMP: Exodus 30:34) or perhaps as another gum resin term. It is believed by scholars to have referred to Styrax officinalis. If burnt is believed to drive away snakes.

Need Benzoin Gum? Purchase it here: http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/shop/?p=4791

    Bibliography:
  • Botanical.com “Benzoin”. Website referenced 10/26/2014 at http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/benzoi31.html.
  • Cunningham, Scott 1990 “Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs”. Llwelleyn Press.
  • Wikipedia.com “Styrax Benzoin”. Website referenced 10/26/2014 at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Styrax_benzoin.
  • Wikipedia.com “Styrax”. Website referenced 10/26/2014 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Styrax.

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082212-241
National Botanical Gardens, Edinburg, Scotland

Lime: Tilia cordata

Taxonomy: Plantae: Tiliaceae: Tilia cordata

Other names: Lime, Teile (Gaelic), common lime, tree of love

Description: The Common Line is a cross between T. Cordata and the larger-leaved southern cousin known as “T. playphyllos”. It is a small-leaved lime tree. The hybrids are common in gardens in the U.K. and Ireland, but are not native there. They are prone to suckering from the base and many older specimens can be recognized by the bushy tufts of shoots surrounding the base of the trunk. During summer seasons, the lime bears clusters of sweetly scented pale yellow-cream flowers that are rich in nectar. These are attractive to insects, especially bees, who become drowsy when overdosing on nectar and can be found fizzing gently in the sward beneath these trees. The leaves are heart-shaped and bright green thereby inspiring its nickname as the “Tree of love”.

Common uses: Planted in estates and gardens as an ornamental. The wood is very soft and used often for small carvings. A crude string used to be made from stripping out its inner layer of bark called the bast.

Culinary: Fruit is used as a seasoning and a drink additive. It is used as a nectar for certain types of honey.

Magic and Folklore: Known as the Tree of Love and used often in love magic spells. Masculine; Planet: Sun; Element: Fire; Powers: Healing, Love, Protection. With the actual fruit – take a fresh lime and pierce it with old iron nails, spikes, pins and needles – toss into a deep hole in the ground to rid self of all ills, hexes, and curses. Wear a necklace of limes to cure a sore throat. Add the peel or essential oil in love mixtures and incenses. Drive a nail into the trunk of a time tree to cure a toothache (thank the tree and ask permission). Twigs of the tree protect against the evil eye when carried.

082212-242
National Botanical Gardens, Edinburg, Scotland

Essential Oil:

Aura Cacia Essential Oil: LIME, .5 fl oz.

Citrus x aurantifolia from Mexico, U.S.A., West Indies

Description: 100% Pure Essential Oil by Aura Cacia. “Lime Essential Oil” – 1/2 fl. oz. from Mexico, USA, or West Indies. Product Dimensions: approx. 3 x 1 x 1 inches ; approx. 1.7 ounces – jar, lid, and oil. Shipping weight: approx. 7 ounces.

Aroma: Tungy, Typical Lime

Cautions: If Pregnant, injured or ill with any medical condition or if taking other medications, consult a doctor or adviser before use. Dilute properly, may irritate skin. This product is not for internal use. Keep out of reach from children.

Indications: Freshening

Ingredients: Citrus x aurantifolia (lime) oil.

Suggested Uses: Awaken the senses: 5 drops lime in a room humidifier or aromatherapy vaporizer. Cheering diffusion: 7 drops lime, 3 drops neroli in a lamp ring diffuser.

ASIN: B001895GPQ

UPC: 051381911263

To learn more about Lime, visit ourLime page.

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Lime Essential Oil: .5 fl oz – Aura Cacia 100% Pure
eo-lime

Recommended Reading / References:


  • Aura Cacia undated Product Labels. Product Labels referenced 2/11/14.
  • Cunningham, Scott 1992 Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs. Llewellyn: St. Paul, Minnesota. ISBN: 0-87542-122-9
  • Worwood, Valerie Ann 1991 “The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy”. New World Library: San Rafael, California. ISBN: 0-931432-82-0.

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Baurley, Thomas 11/26/2009 “Coconut Palm: Cocos nucifera”. Official web page: http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/treelore/?p=1347. © 2009 – Technogypsie Productions: Colorado Springs, Colorado. If you enjoy this article, please treat the author to a drink or donate to keep this article preserved online.


Coconut Trees, Big Island, Hawaii

Coconut Palm
Taxonomy: Plantae: Gymnospermae: Cycadopsida: Commelinids: Arecales: Arecaceae: Arecoideae: Cocoeae: Cocos nucifera. Common names: Nut, Coco, Coconut

Description: Most of the world is familiar with coconuts, the fruit and seed of which comes from the Coconut Palm. Its one of the ever-more popular icons of tropical beaches and regions, uninhabited islands, Florida, Hawaii, and the Bahamas. The Coconut Palm is part of the Palm Family (Arecaceae) and holds its only species. Its a large palm that can grow upwards of 30 meters tall with pinnate leaves 4-6 meters long and pinnae from 60-90 cm long. When the old leaves break away from the trunk it leaves it clean and smooth. A largely tropical decoration plant, it is also used throughout the world for cooking, health, refreshment, beverages, and manufacture. Every part of the Coconut Palm has a use. The fruit of the plant is light, buoyant, and highly water resistant making it very easy to propagate and spread across the world via the oceans and seas. The flowers of the plant are polygamomonoecious possessing both male and female flowers in the same inflorescence that occur continuously. The fruit of the tree is a coconut, within the inner surface of the shell, a ‘nut’ that is an edible endosperm containing coconut juice/milk that is sweet and/or salty. Botanically its a simply dry nut containing a husk (mesocarp) composed of fibers (coir) hosting an inner stone (endocarp) that is the hardest part of the nut which contains 3 germination pores visible on the outside surface once the husk is removed. Through these holes the radicle emerges when the embroyo germinates. The coconut meat is within the shell and consists of a white fleshy edible albuminous endosperm that is highly noted for its medium-chain saturated fat, containing less sugar and more protein than many popular fruits like bananas, apples, oranges, and is high in iron, phospherus, and zinc. In the hollow interior space of the nut is air and a liquid referred to as “coconut water”. When the coconut fruit is still green, the husk is very hard, and only fall if attacked by molds. When the fruit falls naturally, the husks become brown, coir is dry and soft, and less hazardous when it falls. Coconuts can be very damaging when they fall to people, automobiles, and houses. They have been known to cause fatalities.


Beware of falling coconuts, Kalapana Village, Big Island, Hawaii

History::
The exact origin of the “Coconut” is a controversy, ranging from scholars believing it to be native to South Asia while others claim it is from northwestern South American; Fossil evidence shows coconut plants in New Zealand from 15 million years ago; even older fossils in Kerala, Rajasthan, Thennai, and India. First referred to in the 2nd-1st c. B.C.E. in Sri Lanka. Coconuts were believed to be introduced to Hawaii by the Polynesians, to Europe by Portuguese sailors, etc. The name “coconut” came to be from the description of the brown and hairy surface of the nut that reminded the Portuguese explorers of a ghost or witch called “Coco”. Then Marco Polo in 1280 called it nux indica derived from the Arab’s name jauz-al-Hindi. The British retained the coco name and added “nut” to it.

Folklore and Magical beliefs::
Because of how the fruit appears, Portuguese travelers thought the fruit looked like “Coco” the scary witch from within their folklore, that used to be represented as a carved vegetable lantern. Coconut shell is sometimes used to ‘ward away the evil eye’ in South India. In the Philippines, dried half shells are used for a folk dance called the “maglalatik” for an musical instrument that demonstrates or tells the tale about conflicts about coconuts within the Spanish era. The Coconut is used often in rituals – with the Kaveri River worship in India it was seen as an essential element of several Hindu rituals where coconuts were decorated with bright metal foils. Often offered to Hindu God/desses, rivers, and seas in hopes of honor, tribute, or answers to prayers for successful/bountiful catches. In Hindu wedding rituals the coconut is placed over the opening of a pot (representing the womb) or breaking the coconut to ensure blessings as a successful completion of an activity or used in prayers. With Tantra sometimes coconuts are used to represent the human skull.


Coconut, Big Island, Hawaii

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Working with trees isn’t always a piece of cake and sometimes requires some durable heavy-duty equipment to get the job done. Regardless if you’re a botanist, educator, arborist, scientist, gardener, or tree care worker finding the gear to cut, prune, climb, take samples, or maintain the arboreal giants, you’ll need a good amount of equipment to do the action safely, properly, and easily – for both you and the tree. A great affordable company that supplies the gear can be found at Sherrill Tree. They offer arborist supplies, equipment, gear, tools, lanyards, fliplines, prusiks, and climbing gear at great prices. Located in North Carolina, they have over 6,000 different items in their 45,000 square foot warehouse to select from. Easy to order online, by phone, or in person.

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Yew
01 6th, 2014


Yew Tree
The Poison Garden, Blarney Castle, Ireland

European Yew
Taxus baccata [ Plantae: Pinophyta: Pinopsida: Pinales: Taxaceae: Taxus: T. baccata ]

Common Names:
Yew,

Localities:
The European Yew is a conifer that is native to Western, Central, and Southern Europe as well as Northwest Africa, Northern Iran, and Southwest Asia.

Description:
The Common Yew was amongst the first species to be described by Linnaeus belonging to family Taxaceae. The tree is a small to medium sized evergreen tree that grows approximately 10-20 meters tall (33-66 feet), though has been known to reach 92 feet (28 m) The trunk can become up to 2 meters thick (6 ft) though has been found in odd cases upwards of 13 feet thick in diameter. The Yew tree’s bark is thin, scaly brown and comes off in small flakes that is aligned with the stem. Its leaves are lanceolate, flat, and dark green upwards of 1-4 centimeters long and 2-3 millimters broad that are arranged spirally on a stem with the leaf bases twisted to align the leaves in two flat rows on either side of the stem, except on erect leading shoots when the spiral arrangement is more obvious. The seed cones are highly modified with each one containing a single seed that are 4-7 millimeters long and partly surrounded by a modified scale that can develop into a soft bright red berry-like composition called an aril, approximately 8-15 millimeters long and wide, open at the end. These mature 6-9 months after pollination. The seeds are often eaten by a variety of birds such as waxwings and thrushes who disperse the hard seeds undamaged in their droppings. The arils mature over 2-3 months adding to the successful seed dispersal. The seeds are extremely poisonous and biter, but opened and eaten by some bird species such as the great tits and the hawfinches. Male cones are globose and size 3-6 millimters in diameter, shedding their pollen in early spring. They are mostly dioecious but can be variably monoecious and change sex with time. Yews are slow growing and can be long-living, with some trunks having exceeded 2,000 years old (such as The Fortingall Yew in Perthshire, Scotland). Age is difficult to determine with the Yew wood because rarely any wood on the tree is as old as the entire tree since the boughs hollow out with age, making ring counts impossible. There are some Yew trees believed to be 5,000-9,500 years old based on archaeological evidence of surrounding structures incorporated with the trees. has been estimated at 2,000 years old. It is the longest living tree in all of Europe.

Cultivation:
The yew can be propagated through cuttings, seed, graftings or layering. Yews prefer a moist, fertile, sandy loam soil, but can grow well in most soils, especially chalk, but not in water-logged ground or sticky wet clay. The yew can flourish in the shade of taller trees, but little will grow in their own shadows.

Common Uses:
The Yew, especially the Irish Yew, is commonly used in landscaping and ornamental horticulture, and are used especially for formal hedges and topiary.
A 450,000 year old wooden spearhead, made out of yew, is one of the world’s oldest wooden artifacts found at Clacton-on-sea,in Essex, UK. It is the choice of woods used for constructing longbows. Yew has also been utilized for making spears, spikes, staves, and small hunting bows. Arrows tipped in a poison made from Yew leaves was commonplace in the Middle Ages. European historical construction of bows from the Yew tree caused severe damage to the livlihood of the species and throughout history saw numerous bans of its harvest. Yew wood was also used to create wheels and cogs, spoons, handles, bowls and any turned items, also found in the body of the lute, and within sacred carvings.

Culinary Uses:
The seeds and leaves are highly poisonous. The only part of the tree that is not poisonous is the aril and the wood. The aril is gelatinous and very sweet tasting.

Medicinal Uses:
The seeds and leaves are highly poisonous. The major toxin is the alkaloid taxane remaining toxic even when the foliage is wilted or dried. Horses have the lowest tolerance to Yew leaves, with a lethal dose of 200-400 mg/kg body weight while other livestock are less vulnerable. Symptoms of Yew poisoning is muscle tremors, convulsions, coldness, difficulty breathing, staggering gait, collapse, and eventual heart failure. Death is rapid. Fatal poisoning in humans are rare except if ingesting alot of yew foliage (estimated between 50-100 grams). It has been used for phyotherapy as published in the Canon of Medicine in 1021. It was used for cardiac remedy in a drug named “Zarnab” as a calcium channel blocker drug not in wide use in the Western world until the 1960’s. This was an early precursor to the chemotherapy drug called Paclitaxel that were made from the leaves of the European Yew. In the Himalayas it is used to treat breast and ovary cancer. Conflicts in 1990 against the harvesting of paclitaxel for cancer treatment from the Pacific Yew has stunted use. Some lore claims it was used to stimulate abortion.

Magical Uses:
It was traditional to take a yew branch on All Saint’s Day to the tombs of those who died recently so that they would find the guide to return from the Land of Shadows. Traditionally yews are planted in graveyards, near chapels, churches, and cemeteries as a symbol of transcendance of death. They are also found in the main squares of villages to bring all together. Often planted as a symbol for long life or as trees of death. Yew wood commonly used to make magical wands and/or staves. The yew represents immortality, renewal, regeneration, everlasting life, rebirth, transformation and access to the Otherworld and the ancestors. Many churchyards once stood in a circle of Yew, based on the churches being built over ancient Druid sacred groves. It is one of the most potent trees for protecting against evil and to bring dreams and otherworldly journeys. The Yew often represents old magic. In hot weather, it gives off a resinous vapor that shamans inhale to gain visions. The Yew is the last of the 20 trees in the Tree Ogham used for divination, prophecy, and a mnenomic device for learning. In Ogham, it is the “Idho” as a link to spiritual guidance through ancestors and guardians of the Otherworlds. It also represents death and resurrection or renewal in the Ogham. Yew used in divining rods can be used to find lost property.

Folklore and History:
The name “Yew” comes from the Proto-Germanic “*?wa-” and with possible origination from the Gaulish “ivos”. Word refers to the color “brown”. “Baccata” is latin for “Bearing red berries”. To the Celts, the Yew Tree has extroadinary supernatural power and importance. It was believed to be linked with the land, the people, the ancestors, and to the ancient religion. The tree is sacred to the Goddess Hecate and the Crone aspects of the Triple Goddess. The Yew was often seen as guardians of the Underworld, death, and the afterlife. It was a common ancient poison. Tribal leaders were often buried beneath the Yew as believed its dryad or tree spirit would join with them.


Yew Tree

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