Sweet woof


Legend says this tree was first discovered in The Beyond , and brought back from the remote area of Augur Kala. Nobody can actually know if this is true, as this tree is widely cultivated now in several of The Steadfast countries. But it is true that it is quite different in structure from the rest of the vegetation growing in the wild.

Average Height:
2 m to 4 m
Average Trunk:
1 m diameter at base
Average Canopy:
4 m to 6 m diameter
sweet woof tree

Basic Information

Anatomy

Trunk
The Sweet woof tree is a small to medium size tree, reaching a height 2 to 4 m high. The trunk has a pale bark, and is around 1 m in diameter at base. After the first 1 or 2 meters, depending on the total height of the tree, the branches start to grow slopped, forming a dense crown in the shape of an umbrella. The umbrella diameter is normally twice as large as its height.  
Leaves
  From each of those branches, large tufts of soft fluffy fibre grow instead of leaves. The fluffy fibre is a dark olive green, but in different soils, the fibre can acquire other tonalities that complement the main one. The easier ones are yellow, when the soil is slightly acidic and blue, when it's more alkaline.   These leaves have photosynthetic capabilities, using light energy as a source to acquire chemical energy, to fuel the organism's metabolic activities.

Sweet woof fibres

Sweet woof leave detail

 
Roots
In mature trees, the roots extend underground, mirroring the extent of the umbrella branches above. In good soil, most of these roots are not deep, existing in the first half metre below the surface. In both natural and cultivated forest, the trees will grow their roots to connect each other, forming a network underground, that allow for quick communication and sharing of resources.

Genetics and Reproduction


On the hottest month of the year, the plant seek insects to pollinate them and disperse their seeds far and wide. They do this by growing spores on their fibre. These spores trigger a change in the composition of the rest of the fibre, increasing its glucose content. This change make them slightly sticky and delicious for the insects. The insects normally congregate in high numbers around these trees, some time coming from far away. They eat the fibre and spread the newly pollinated seed.

The Woof festival

After the insects have eaten from this modified fibre, the insects become a sweet delicacy, which is also harvested by most town where this tree is cultivated. This event happen during the second pollinating week in this cycle. People from surrounding areas get together to capture as many of the insects as they possibly can.
               

Growth Rate & Stages

sweet woof cycle.png

It takes a young sapling a full year before it starts to grow fibre, and around 2 more until the first time it creates spores and it becomes fertile. If the tree is cultivated, the fibre is ready to be collected, 3 months after this first change has happened. The fibre won't be considered high quality until after 4 years. At this point, the tree has reached it mature status. The tree expected lifespan is around 100-200 years.

Ecology and Habitats

The sweet woof thrives in temperate climate, and dislikes coastal areas. Even thought its fibres are not edible for almost any animals, it is quite good for nests and burrow building. In wild forests, its dense, evergreen canopy, also allows areas where temperature and humidity are better kept. Which in turn allows a wide range of secondary vegetation, growing on it shade. This make the sweet woof forest an ideal place for many species of insects, birds and burrowing animals to live. Together with their natural predators   On places where this tree is cultivated, part of the shadow area below the tree canopy is kept cleaner of secondary vegetation to grow herbs and foliage instead . The rest is permitted to grow wild to allow hunting and foraging.

Additional Information

Uses, Products & Exploitation

The sweet woof is grown for its fibre. This fibre is used to make diverse styles of cloth. it's collected twice a month, except during it fertile stage. The tree which have the rarest varieties of undertones are the most appreciated, especially the ones with purple undertones.   Once collected, the woof fibre is washed and stored. If the fibre intended use is insulation, it will store raw. Otherwise, it will be placed in big spools, ready to be spun into a very durable textile. The woof fabric, is used for high quality clothes.   A hen treated correctly and combined with the insulation of the raw woof fibre, can create an light armor   During its fertile cycle, the insects that come to feed from the sweet woof are also harvested. Around 60% are trapped. Some of them are sold, or used to create new cultivated trees. The rest are either used as sweets, or cooked and preserved in a variety of ways.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

This tree is found in the wild in all the internal countries in The Steadfast. There are records, describing sweet woof forest in the The Beyond. This is where if the legends are to be believed, it actually originates from.

Comments

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24 Mar, 2021 23:12

This tree idea is amazingly original and creative! I love the Dr. Seuss fluff-tree images I am getting in my head. Forests of these must be spectacular! Great work! A little grammar clean-up, and a bit more art if you can find it, might just make this pop and earn it the Likes that the idea deserves. Well done!

Author of the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga Eater of pickles, Friend of nerds, First of her name
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
26 Mar, 2021 11:42

Great article! I like the idea of the trees having fibre instead of leaves, and the fibres just increasing their glucose content to attract all the insects. And the festival with people eating the insects is a great idea!   I love that you've included the idea that the tree communicate together through their roots.   Just a few comments:   You should not have a "which" in that sentence: "This change which make them slightly sticky and delicious for the insects."   In the ecology section you have written "Even thought its leaves are not edible for almost any animals" even though you said before it has no leaves but fibres instead.   If the people do not catch enough insects, is there consequences for the region? Or for trees growing in the wild where people do not harvest the insects, I imagine that depending on the years, sometimes there could be way too many insects and not enough predators to take care of them all and that could have consequences on agricultural harvests. That's an incentive for everyone to participate in the insect catching festival!

3 Apr, 2021 20:07

Nice and original idea! The look of the tree must be quite nice to look at. I especially like how the tree is linked to the festival to eat sweet insects. Makes me think a bit of the ants that hold nectar in them which people also eat. Good read!   A few things I noticed though. I think it needs to be 'is widely cultivated' . And I think the next sends would be better with 'has a different structure in comparison to'.

Feel free to check out My Ship entry if you want to see what I am up to!
16 Apr, 2021 16:11

Hi Laria!   I'm listening to Kahuna right now but I gave it a quick read as well. Love the images you've made/used, particularly the cycle. My only suggestion is to add a tooltip to "hen" in the last section as it is a term people may not be familiar with. Well done!

xtremepsy | Ölütanrı
Checkout my other favourite entries to the 2021 Peculiar Plant HERE!
Feel free to read, favourite, and comment on my entry, Digivine.
16 Apr, 2021 16:18

Well done! Don't know is I would eat the insects....

Kahuna the Elder aka Leo - www.kahunatheelder.com Creator of Arnathia
16 Apr, 2021 18:21

Oh nice, both yummy insects and useful fibre!

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young