Dragon’s Blood Tree

Dragon’s Blood Tree
Socotra Tree

 

The Socotra dragon tree, the dragon's blood tree is found in the Dragonsblood forest of Yemen. The tree gets its name thanks to its legendary red resin that is used to solve a variety of ailments and is considered an anti-diarrhea, anti-ulcer, anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant substance, among other things. Legend has it that the resin was also used as a dye referred to as dragon's blood, and it was the source of the intense color of Stradivarius violins.

 

The dragon's blood tree is believed to be centuries old, and it has developed an unusual shape, resembling an open umbrella, that is key to its survival. During monsoon season, the leaves absorb the moisture from drizzles and sea mists and pass the liquid down to its roots. The umbrella shape serves as a canopy, providing the roots with ample shade.

 

If you cut into a wild teak tree, you will see a dark-red liquid dripping down the trunk. The liquid is actually red sap, which is created by tannins – the same as what is found in wine. Therefore, wild teak trees have become commonly known as bloodwood trees. While it is unusual for a plant to "bleed" when it is cut, the bloodwood trees' red sap is designed to coagulate and seal wounds just like human blood.

 

These trees are native to South Africa, and local tribes believe that the red sap is magical. The sap of wild teak trees is believed to help women increase their supply of breast milk and treat diseases such as malaria and ringworm as well as sharp pains.

 

If a stone fruit tree is bleeding sap, it's due to a disease called gummosis. The sap will flow from the tree's injury and can be caused by either a bacterial or perennial canker. Wounds to the tree, such as winter damage, environmental stress, disease damage, damage from a gardening tool or insect infestation, can also result in gummosis.

 

Initial signs of gummosis include new leaves turning yellow and lesions developing on the bark that begin to ooze an amber-colored sap. As the disease advances, curly orange threads, which are actually fungal chains, may begin to grow from the bark, and leaves may turn brown and start to drop. While the disease spreads, it begins to kill the wood under the cankers, which may result in entire branches dying.

 

* If the disease infects the tree's trunk, then the tree can die.