All about trees

There are quite a few instances in our Vedas and Shastras where the greatness of certain trees is mentioned. Each tree has certain unique characteristics that have been helping the mankind –
Palasa Tree:
“Once the devas were sitting under a ‘palAsa’ tree and discussing the glory of Gayatri Mantra. This tree heard them speak of the Gayatri mantra formed in three ‘pAdAs’ and began to grow three leaves at a time. The wonder struck devas named the tree as ‘susravas’ that means ‘a tree with the best hearing ability’. This matter is mentioned in the Vedas as “DevAvai brahmannavadanta tatparna upAsruNot susravAvai namh” A brahmachari ‘vidyArthi’ (student) who seeks a Guru in Gurukula to learn the Vedas should grasp the teachings of the Guru as well as the ‘palAsa tree’. This is the reason that ‘palAsa danda’ (stick) is given to him. Moreover, the grasping ability of one who holds this ‘palAsa’ stick in his hand increases.
Peepul Tree:
Manu explains in Manusmriti, “One who bathes in the waters where the shade of a peepul tree falls, is cleansed of all his sins.” Therefore, our ancestors have planted a peepul tree on the bank of ponds. This is a ‘prãcheena sampradãya’ (ancient tradition). This practice is followed in all places.
Women longing for children circumambulate the peepul tree. This is one of the common traditions practiced since age old days. Today, scientific studies indicate in additional to its medicinal qualities, the breeze from the peepul tree stimulates the woman’s egg.
Just like a Brahmin boy is given to hold a PalAsa ‘danda’, a Vayshya child is given to hold a ‘peepul’ stick, as it is believed that peepul has the quality of providing incessant food to his household.
‘Konrai’ tree:
‘Konnappoo’ (flower from a konrai tree) is yellow in colour. It fills up the whole tree that one cannot see the leaves! People install a Siva linga below it. When the branches move about in breeze the flowers fall on the Linga. ‘Konnappoo’ is a favourite of Siva. It is a favourite of Muruga, too.
Just like a lightning conductor installed on the top of a building protects the building from natural shocks like lightning, the bamboo stick that the sanyasi holds protects him from negative forces that tend to steal his penances. Such is the power of bamboo.
‘Ilandai’ (Chinese Dates) / ‘Vilaam’ (wood apple)
“Our mind is brought under control by eating ‘Ilandai’ fruit and ‘vilaam’ fruit. The vasanas of the mind reduces. These fruits have the power to make the mind pleasant. This is the reason that it is said (in Srimad Bhagavatam) that Dhruva ate these fruits while doing ‘tapas’ (penance).
Sage Vyasa sat under a ‘Ilandai Tree’ (‘badari tree’) and wrote the Bhagavata Purana.