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Contents / Purple clouds on the Bosphorus Erguvan

Native to the Mediterranean, the Erguvan greets Istanbulites every spring with lozenge-shaped pods, heart-shaped leaves and purplish pink blossoms. Why is it so difficult to love unconditionally a person, a tree or an animal that we don't know? Even if we don't know its name, why should it be difficult to love a tree that speaks through its blossoms in joy or sadness; to consider its leaves that fall in season like the pages of a calendar, its branches that stretch to the sky as if into infinity, its roots that descend to the heart of the earth? Let us try, then, to know before loving, to love upon acquaintance, then to protect and, finally, to be responsible for.... a tree. Let us begin that acquaintance with any tree. Let us survey it from top to bottom. First the roots, then the trunk, finally the crown. Then we must stand in front of our tree and consider its habitus or general appearance. Are the top shoots erect, or do they hang down? Is the crown narrow or broad? Are the branches upright or sagging? Then let's look at the bark, whose color after all is like the tree's identity card. The branches and shoots create the tree's appearance, the latter also being an expression of the tree's youth.

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