Hug a tree or, even better, plant a tree. That’s the motto of Tu Bishvat, the Jewish New Year for Trees. Tu Bishvat is one of the four Jewish new years (Rosh Hashanahs), and this year’s Tu Bishvat is earmarked for tomorrow, January 20th. Festivities as always start with nightfall on the day before, i. e. tonight after sun down. The tree day marks the season in which the earliest-blooming trees in the Land of Israel emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle. As it happens, here in Mallorca the New Year for Trees coincides pretty much with the almond blossom season which now is at the brink of going into full gear.
The Jewish festival of Tu Bishvat always coincides with the full moon. January’s full moon in Mallorca can be admired tonight, and it looks like we’ll be having another lovely lunar sight.
If you should be inclined to plant a tree here are my suggestions. Depending on your garden or the size of land that you have available you could plant a young orange or lemon tree. Or an almond tree, to keep with the spirit of the season. I would, however, recommend a pomegranate tree (Punica granatum) which grows fast, gives a lovely flower and produces a very healthy fruit. An olive tree would also be a nice choice but, the olive is relatively slow in growing to full maturity. Why not plant a tamarisk tree (Tamarix gallica) instead which has a delightful pink flower and is ever so pleasing to the eye. You can see one in my photo although I believe that tree to be of the Tamarix africana variety. You will see its flowers coming out any time soon, in March and April. Anyway, the second half of January is a perfect time for tree planting of whatever kind so, don’t be shy.
Happy New Year of the Trees, everybody.
The photo was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: April 8th, 2010. The time was 14:52:21.