Jun 23, 2010

Anonymous benevolence

Some time ago, I had planted T007, and then went as usual several times to water it, but it nonetheless died during the hot season. But before it died, I came to the spot several times after someone else had watered the tree. And then, one day, I came to water the tree as usual, with my water bottle in hand, only to find that a man was already watering it ! He was not very old, and he could have been one of the numerous tuk-tuk drivers who park and work nearby.

So I crouched and started to pour water on the tree with him. We smiled a bit, didn't look too much at each other, we were a bit shy. We just exchanged a few words on how hot the weather was. Nothing more. But we shared the feeling and were feeling good.

Well, despite our care, the tree didn't make it. So I later removed the pieces of wood I used as stakes, and didn't go back there until last week. As I rode past, I had a look at the spot, and couldn't believe my eyes ! So i came back later with my camera :

A new young tree !

A beautiful young coconut tree !

How long ago was it planted ? Was it planted by the tuk-tuk driver ?

I don't know...

What I know, is that someone around the neighbourhood has thought that the raining season has come already, and that planting a tree in that empty spot is not such a bad idea. They just did it, just like that...

This gives me wings : I am not alone !

But I knew that already : a few people have contacted me, and a few friends have shown interest, and we will soon be planting more trees together. Another friend who lives near the forest will send me more seeds. There are indeed plenty of people who want to do something, and it's easy to just do it !

So, I had been busy, and was waiting a bit more, and other bad excuses to postpone the 'raining season planting spree', but I cannot ignore such a sign :

Let the planting season begin !


  1. I love this new tree, that I will count as a 'bonus tree', but I feel that I should comment on that kind of choice of trees for a street/public space.

    Much as I like coconut trees, I would not plant them where people usually walk : the coconuts fruits that we love to eat, can severely hurt or even kill someone when they fall.

    Second reason : this tiny little tree is quite cute now, but once its leave will grow out, they will easily reach 2.5-3m length, thus blocking the sidewalk until the tree trunk is high enough (a few years...).

    So well, I will certainly not cut the tree, but won't be surprised if someone does soon, either from the municipality, a neighbour, or a passer-by...

  2. I am sure there are many Bangkokians who'd love to make their city more beautiful and care for the trees where BMA fails to replant the vacant spots. Too bad I have just returned back home from BKK - for a vacation I was lucky to make it before the start of raining season, but would have loved to join in such a planting event as well.

  3. I agree that coconut trees are not a good choice in city. The Horse-chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) is a popular city tree here in Germany, but many cities have changed to plant only hybrids which will not create fruits - though the fruits are much smaller than coconuts, the still occasionally might give parking cars a small bump when the ripe fruits falls down. It's only sad for the children, since collecting the fruits is a popular autumn pastime.

  4. ^ sweet souvenirs of the countless times I collected these beautiful chesnuts as well... and the countless fights throwing them at each other with other kids !

    Gimme a shout next time you come over, I'll be glad to plant trees with you :)

    ^^ since spending quite some time looking at Bkk's street trees, I identified a few causes of the trees general poor health. There are ways to improve the health of these trees without costing money, just by changing a bit the way to maintain them.

    I have prepared a short abstract of this, and will talk about it soon with some of my ex-teachers from Kasetsart University. There is now a will to improve environment in Bangkok, both from ordinary citizens, and from institutional actors. I am positive that things can be done, we just need the initial 'spark to ignite the fire'.

    This 'spark' may well have come in the shape of a coconut tree ;)

  5. That is a very good project and endeavor to save the earth and make sure that the bad air is refreshed.

  6. Looks Like it is a project that will realistically reap what you sow.

    All the best

  7. I am glad to see someone doing their part :D I would love to do the same, but for now I am limited to using the game at http://www.facebook.com/brandbang as they will plant a tree for every 30,000 points!

  8. Tnx for your kind comment. Unfortunately the project has been halted for some time now, waiting for more motivation to start it all again... All the trees planted so far (including some not updated on blog), have been cut or replaced.

    I still have a nursery though, with sapling just waiting for a motorcycle ride ! Might happen soon ! :D

  9. Hope you get motivated soon. I would help if I live. Almost got a job in BKK a while back...hope to get another opportunity.

    With all the flooding - trees can only help.


Comments moderated, no spam allowed.

Please specify if you do not want your email/contact published.