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7 amazing facts about the baobab tree

That will surprise you

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Have you seen this strange tree? What strange tree? Oh, that strange tree with the superpowers? Yes, exactly that one! It may look like the strangest tree of all, but the baobab is a real superhero among trees.

Would you like to know what is so special about baobabs?

The baobab tree is one of the most useful trees in the world. Every part is amazing in its characteristics and benefits – from its young leaves and seeds to its old hollowed-out trunk.

Did you know that baobabs live for thousands of years and support entire ecosystems?

Read on to discover 7 amazing facts about these remarkable trees!

1. where do baobabs grow?

There are 9 species of baobabs. Six of them grow only in Madagascar, two are found in large parts of Africa, and one baobab species has made it as far as Australia.

Opinions differ as to exactly when this happened, but it is known that baobabs have been around since the time of the dinosaurs 200 million years ago!

2. baobabs are among the longest-lived trees

Baobabs can live for thousands of years. The oldest known baobab tree was the Panke baobab tree in Zimbabwe, which is 2450 years old¹.

Baobabs only have very weak annual rings. Radiocarbon dating* is therefore used to determine their age.

3. baobabs are record-breakingly large

The largest species of baobab is the African baobab (Adansonia digitata). According to the Guinness Book of Records, the largest living baobab tree is the Sagole Big Tree in South Africa.

It measures a whopping 60.6 square meters at its base, has a height of 19.8 m and an above-ground dry mass estimated at 54 tons².

4. baobabs are the trees of life

Baobabs can store large quantities of fresh water in their extraordinary trunks. This makes them real lifesavers in times of water shortage.

It enables the baobab tree to produce nutritious fruit even in the driest years. This is why the baobab tree is also known as the tree of life.

Would you like to grow your own super tree? You can! The baobab is one of the trees that Click A Tree plants as part of our work in Ghana.

Each contribution plants really useful trees like the baobab tree, which will provide the community with water, shade and a rich harvest of fruit in the years to come.

You can find out more about our tree planting project in Ghana here.

5. baobab fruits are a superfood

Baobab fruits can be used both fresh and dried. They are super nutritious, especially in their dried form, which is sold as a powder.

The fruit powder does not need any preservatives or artificial processes to stay fresh for 2 years³! This is great news because the baobab fruit is an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Baobab fruits are a superfood. They contain 6 times more vitamin C than oranges and 6 times more potassium than bananas.

The fruit, leaves, bark and seeds of the baobab tree have powerful health benefits and are traditionally used to treat illnesses, reduce fever and stimulate the immune system.

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6. baobab seed oil for skin and hair beauty

The oil pressed from baobab seeds has long been a popular ingredient in natural skin and hair care products.

Baobab seed oil is intensely moisturizing and contains linoleic, linolenic and omega-3 fatty acids, which help to soothe dry and irritated skin⁴.

Baobab seed oil is also naturally insect repellent!

7. baobabs are crucial parts of the ecosystem

Baobabs play a major role in the ecosystem of the African dry savannahs. Firstly, they help to keep the soil moist, slow down soil erosion and recycle important nutrients.

Secondly, hundreds of animals find food, water and shelter in baobabs. Elephants eat the bark for moisture when there is no water nearby.

They also eat the fruit and in return help the baobab tree to distribute its seeds.

Baobab – a tree like no other

Baobabs are really something special, as there are over 300 known uses for their products. From a source of food and shelter to cosmetic products and medicines, baobabs are essential not only for humans but also for animals and other plants.

After all, these forest giants had over 200 million years to become super trees!

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*The ¹⁴C method– also known as radiocarbon dating or the radiocarbon method – is not only used by archaeologists to determine the age of finds. Researchers are also using this method to investigate the global carbon cycle. It is based on the decay of a certain carbon isotope that is formed in the upper layers of the atmosphere and is later absorbed by all living creatures and the oceans on Earth.⁵





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