Discover the unusual trees

Source: press release

14 May 2017

Soon the holiday season will begin which will mark the start of trips, bike excursions and walking. The Gaja Club has prepared a free mobile application “Climatic trees” thanks to which it is possible to see the most unusual trees in our country and meet their history, go for an excursion on the path of the field trees, learn to distinguish local trees and bushes and discover other tourist attractions in our country.

The application „Climatic trees” of the Gaja Club combines fun and education in an interesting and attractive way. It can be downloaded on Google Play (on Android systems), App Store (iOS) and Windows Store (Windows Phone). Additionally for the Windows 10 owners, it can be downloaded also on the PC.

Thanks to the app “Climatic trees” you will meet almost 250 most precious, environmentally and culturally, trees in Poland – the laureates of the competition the Tree of the Year, organized by the Gaja Club since 2011, and the most interesting natural monuments – you will see their photos and read about their history and legends connected with them. Additionally, based on the GPS location, you will easily determine the situation of every tree and other tourist attractions in the region, e.g. the botanical gardens and geo-tourist objects like caves, waterfalls, rocks and rivers. The app is user friendly and directed towards many groups: the teachers, students, parents walking with children in Poland and adults who look for interesting places and locations in their trips – writes Urszula Grygier, the teacher and the teaching consultant of biology and environment in the Educational Department in the Cracow Town Hall.

While travelling with the app you can reach e.g. the Tree of the Year 2016 and the winner of this year’s edition of European Tree of the Year, the 650-year-old oak Józef from Wiśniowa in the podkarpackie voivodship, the image of which – the drawing of the painter Józef Mehoffer – was on the 100 zlotys banknote used in the 30s of the 20th century. The importance of that tree to the residents is also underlined by the history of the Second World War. A Jewish family was hiding inside the trunk of this very tree then.

As part of the project of Gaja Club „The Tree Day – among the fields”, which was founded by the National Environmental Protection and Water Management Fund and WFOŚiGW in Katowice, the app was complemented by the information on trees and bushes in fields in the agricultural territories, their importance in the protection of biological variety and counteraction against the climate changes as well as the benefits for human health and the balanced development. In this way we want to encourage the residents of the countryside to undertake local actions for their planting and protection. The trees existing in the agricultural territories indicate the unusual beauty of the landscape and enhance the recreational properties of the area. They are also the anchor of the wild nature and a great ally of the farmers.

The field trees are another interesting topic in the mobile app “Climatic trees”. In the monotonous agricultural landscape they are specific environmental islands which are important for many species of plants and animals. The field trees are also the necessary elements balancing the conditions of farming and enhancing the effects of administration. They limit the wind and water erosion, protect from the sudden temperature changes, enhance the local climate conditions – says Jolanta Migdał – the coordinator of the project “The Tree Day – among the fields”.

In the app we can also find some propositions of interesting trip routes with the field trees, e.g. the trip of the route of the roadside lindens and the bushes growing in the fields. This is a challenge for the real hikers. About 40km route from Maków Podhalański to Andrychów leads among the field trails, balks and the routes of Beskid Mały. It is perfect for a holiday trip.

By looking at the news in the app we will learn about the news in the Gaja Club as part of the program The Tree Day and we will read many interesting facts about the role and importance of the field trees as well as about their benefits for our health. You may find useful e.g. culinary recipes with the wild edible trees and bushes that you may try in your kitchen. Such species as linden, elderberry or hawthorn are for centuries used to make juices, tinctures, jams and the herb extracts which are rich in vitamins and medical properties. Today it is worth remembering about their quality and importance.

The tree atlas is another interesting part of the app. We will find there descriptions and gallery of the most popular local species of trees and bushes, such as the oak, rowanberry or linden as well as those connected to the field trees, e.g. elderberry, cherry tree, hawthorn, blackthorn or the cornus mas. Thanks to the photos of their eaves we will be able to recognize the species ourselves.