Tree of Life : Shami
It’s quite amazing that Shami tree in Baharin, locally called ‘Shajarat-al-Hayat’ which means ‘tree of life’, is approximately 400 year old.
It is the only tree grown in that area and has become a tourist attraction which is visited by approx. 50,000 tourists every year. The tree stands on top of a 7.6 m (25 ft) high sandy tell that formed around a 500-year-old fortress.
‘Shami’ is a Sanskrit word which means ‘one who removes or cleans, or suppresses.’
Shami is worshipped since ancient times, especially during the Epic age; the warriors would offer prayers to this tree before proceeding to the battle field.
Astrology believes that shami is worshipped to please and get blessings of planet Saturn or shani. Shami wood is also used for shani pooja.
Shami offers so many other benefits also. The root system of shami is long, deep & well developed, securing a firm footing for the plant and allowing it to obtain moisture from ground-water. Hence it do not compete for moisture and nutrients with crops.
A symbiotic relationship with some bacteria allows it to fix nitrogen in the soil, improving soil fertility. Furthermore it also adds organic matter through leaf litter decomposition, rejuvenating poor soils.
Thus, shami is compatible with agri-horticultural crops. The tree boosts well the growth and productivity of the companion plants.
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