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The Power of Trees

Trees are incredible forms of life on this planet.

I can write pages and pages about them. If you knew what I knew about trees, perhaps you would hug them too now and again. They are essential to our existence and without trees, our planet would be inhabitable. I cannot empahsise enough how we must strive to plant them, whenever we can, and in many places as we can.


Just because you don’t have a garden, does not mean you cannot plant a tree.  Enhance public spaces like parks and sidewalks with trees. Choosing an indigenous and water wise species will increase chances of survival and not consume too much water.

Here are some important facts you should know about trees:

1. Trees seed rain

Trees transpire water which form clouds and rain back down. Check out these awesome videos which explain the process.


2. Trees increase the fertility of the soil

The leaves that fall off the trees, cover and protect the ground from evaporation. Microorganisms and other small creatures like worms, eat the organic matter and process it into nutritious soil for plants. The oranic matter becomes food for the ground. There are also trees that absorb nitrogen from their air and return it to the soil through their leaf litter and nodes in their roots. If the tree is large enough to prune, the stored nitrogen in the root nodes are released into the soil as the tree balances its roots with its canapy. When deciduous trees lose their leaves in autumn, you can decide how you would like to use them, as they have great fertilizing qualities.


You can choose to rake up the leaves, and store them to make leaf mould. Leaf mould is an excellent form of compost, or you can let nature do all the work for you by leaving them on the ground. Fallen leaves have a wonderful purpose, they protect the ground  from extreme cold or heat. Leaves (as mulch) stop water evaporation and when the worms eat them, they turn them into super compost for the soil. This is nature’s cycle of returning nutrients back to the soil so that more life can grow.

3. Trees stabilize the soil

The roots dig deep into the soil to secure the tree and this also protects the soil from soil erosion. Soil erosion occurs when rains fall and top soil is washed away where there are no trees to hold the soil in place. This leaves big gaping holes where it is difficult to grow anything.


4. Trees provide shade and regulate temperature.

If you measured the temperature of various man made things like tar roads, concrete, bricks and steel and then compared those temperatures with the tops of trees, you will see a big difference. Trees regulate the temperature. Man made structures like roads and concrete increase the temperature in cities and contribute to global warming. I am sure all of you have experienced the sanctuary of shade underneath a tree on a very hot day.


5. Trees help in the maintenance of biodiversity and ecosystem balance.

Trees provide a home to wildlife and increase chances of survival of many species. They provide food and shelter. Where many species live together, a balance is retored and is called an ecosystem. An ecosystem can fall out of balance if a species of life is removed and this threatens the survival of all other life. Biodiversity is key for survival of all species.


6. Trees are a resource for fuel and building

Wood from the fallen and dried branches of trees, can be burnt to provide warmth. Burning dried branches also makes coal which can be burnt or used to clean water. It can even clean our teeth! We can make things with wood like furniture, shelter and paper. We must be careful to prune for the trees health, and not cut them down. Destroying a forest for our own needs is selfish when there are better and more sustainable ways of providing for our comforts.

7. Trees store carbon

Do you know about all that carbon in the air that is making our planet hotter and making the sea acidic? Well, it should be in the ground or in trees where it is safe and put to good use. Trees store carbon and return it to the soil by decomposition.


The Moral of the Story

Go out there and plant a tree for Arbor month. Plant 10 trees if you can and try stick to indigenous, water wise trees. Let’s fix the grass deserts in our parks and restore the land, climate and wildlife with trees. Plant some fruit or nut trees in your garden and you will be rewarded with delicious food.

Trees are so vital to our survival. We need more of them to fix the damage we have done to this planet.  Plant a tree for Arbor Month.



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September Update

Charming Spring
© Patricia L. Cisco

Published: March 26, 2018

Reminiscent melodies
serenade the morning breeze.

Feathered creatures nest with care
in cherry blossoms pink and fair.

Perfumed scent of roses flow.
Tiny blades of green grass grow.

Misty showers soak the earth,
glorious colors come to birth.

Gathering clouds come and go,
rain, sun, and vibrant bow.

Dainty petals, fancy flair,
dancing in the warm, sweet air.

Violets, yellows, purest white,
graceful, gentle, welcomed sight.

Thank you, oh sweet lovely Spring,
patiently waiting the charms you bring!


Happy Spring!

We, at Unicorn Cafe, wish you every success and happiness during this time of rebirth, rejuvination, fertility and activity.



Spring is such an exciting time of the year where landscapes burst with the colours of flowers and babies of every kind are born. The slumber of Winter ends and we awaken to warmer, longer days where our sewn seeds germinate into tiny expressions of life.



Plan your hikes in nature, make time for a wild flower drive. Invite your friends to a picnic in the park or along a river. Go stawberry picking and plant lots and lots of seeds. Indulge in the sunshine outdoors and relish the new buds on the deciduous trees.



The 15th of September is world clean up day…

…where people all around the world will be cleaning up coasts, rivers and landscapes. September has also been labelled plastic free due to the plastic epidemic that we face. Clean ups are being organized world wide so join one and have some fun while making a difference for the environment. I always meet such wonderful people at cleanups and I find them so rewarding. Remember that a clean up without a brand audit is only treating the symptom and not the cause. More about that here. Join the movement and be part of the #BreakFreeFromPlastic Revolution!



September is also Arbor month in South Africa and

there is something remarkably noble about planting a tree. Trees don’t just add greenery and shade to an area but they keep fresh water on land. Their leaves protect the soil and provide fertility. They provide microclimates and regulate temperature. If we want to stop our city from becoming unbrearingly hot from climate change, we should be planting trees and lots of them! One of my favourite sayings is ‘When in drought, plant a tree!’



Nurseries will mostly likely have Arbor week specials. Plant a fruit tree in your garden. With some love and care, it will reward you with delicious sun ripened fruit far tastier than anything bought in a grocery store. Plant an indigenous water wise tree in your local park or a sidewalk. It is the ultimate form of guerilla gardening.



Yours in creating a regenerative community
The Unicorn Cafe Team


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