Solitary Tree Behaves like a Nuclear Family in the Forest Stands

Gautam Kumar Das

First look of a solitary tree inside the forest stands stood on the way to Chilkigarh in Jhargram district simply overwhelmed me and that is followed by another one such king size tree erected adjacent to Ketki falls inside the Mayur Jharna elephant Reserve at Kakrajhor. Both the trees are isolated and unaccompanied from the tree line of the forest patches. Tree line in the forests are almost same height and diameter of stems occurred in cluster maintaining a gap from the solitary tree like the joint family members in the human society from those of medium to high income group nuclear family. The shape of strong-built stem and branches of solitary trees indicates that they are well supplied with the nutritious food like most essential nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium for plants. Tree lines in the forest stands are slim in their appearance hardly with 12-18 cm in diameter at chest height and maximum up to 28 cm on contrast to the solitary tree’s 142 & 156 cm stem-diameter respectively, though the trees stood in the tree lines have the same class, group, family, and even the same name i.e. Sal trees (Shorea robusta). Solitary Sal tree looks attractive with luxuriant foliage, healthy flowers, fruits and seeds and they often enjoy enchanting environment with the humming of bees and chirping of birds likely of the cultural atmosphere of a nuclear family in the human society. Even the birds prefer for making nest and bees frame their honeycomb in the twigs and branches of a solitary tree. Wildlife like monkeys are seen hooping and a large python taking a snap in noon on the branches of such trees.

A solitary tree behaves like a nuclear family of the human society, whereas their cluster format exists as a forest-class. Single tree, a true representative of a forest-class in the forest stands looks like a true-born species when the tree lines maintain a social distance from the solitary one due to its healthy growth with respect to the growing stock surrounding their dominant representative. A solitary tree, a king tree in a forest patch with its huge strongly built branches and a large crown on its top assumes like a nuclear family in human society that consists of a couple and their dependent children as a basic social unit. Solitary tree, regarded as a king tree, often takes more but returns less to its surrounding environment. On contrary, tree lines in the forest patches receives huge precipitation for rainfall and enhances infiltration rate in the forest floor through leaching, and thus enrich and recharge the ground water table in the forest areas. A solitary tree enjoys major soil nutrients single-handed without sharing to its neighbour, though it hails from the same common descent of the tree community. Huge content of nutrients availability in the forest floor from the microbial biomass from decomposition process and absorption of those nutrients singly make the solitary tree gradually a healthy one like a toddler of a nuclear family. Trees in cluster in the forests are assumed like the members of a joint family who share food, air and water of the area jointly and almost equally that reflect their similarity in their health having almost same growth, same crown area and the same diameter class, and among them, a solitary tree is simply an exceptional existence with huge growth. Such huge growth sometimes becomes a cause of its destruction when gusty winds due to cyclonic storms starts blowing over it. Then the branches and foliage of the solitary tree are severally damaged, even sometimes it is simply uprooted due to heavy winds of the storms, but the trees in cluster are less damaged in comparison to a king size tree due to lacking of gap in between the tree cluster. Overall, tree lines stand or fall together in the natural calamities, tender a message to the modern nuclear family of the human society recapitulating the proverb that two heads are better than one.

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Sep 26, 2020

Gautam Kumar Das

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