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
TrunkThe 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.
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.
RootsIn 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 festivalAfter 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
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.
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.