The Pillalamarri tree of Mahabubnagar district spans over 3 acres and is said to be the second largest Banyan tree in India.

To save 700-year-old Banyan tree Telangana officials put it on drips
news Environment Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - 18:22

To save a legendary 700-year-old Banyan tree, which is on the verge of dying, Telangana forest department officials have put it on ‘drips’.

The legendary Pillalamarri tree of Mahabubnagar district that spans over 3 acres is said to be the second largest Banyan tree in India.

Sadly, it saw a termite infestation, which damaged most of the tree. Taking note of the tree’s dreadful condition, forest officials immediately shut down the tourist spot for public viewing and drew out a four-point plan to treat the tree. And the treatment began in March.

The four-point plan comprises trenching, treatment of prop roots, the mechanical support and treatment of branches, said Chukka Ganga Reddy, District Forest Officer of Mahabubnagar to TNM.

Trenching is a procedure to strengthen the roots of trees by treating them with chlorpyrifos while watering them.

Chukka Ganga said that they are presently giving 20 ml of chlorpyrifos in every 1 litre of water used to revive the tree.

He added they were treating the branches too: “We have drilled holes in the branches, every two metres, and poured in the chlorpyrifos. Initially, we thought we considered pouring in the liquid using a pressure pump, but as the liquid may leak then, we are giving the tree ‘drip treatment’ using saline bottles.”

He added that officials were worried that the termites might have damaged the tree to a very great extent, especially its branches. To ensure the branches don’t fall down, officials constructed RCC pillars to prop the branches up. This is the mechanical support procedure.”

One of the major reasons that the tree is on the verge dying is because the aerial roots, or the hanging roots, aren’t growing.

To enable the prop roots to grow, authorities have erected pipes reaching the prop roots, which are filled with soil and manure to help them grow.

Chukka Ganga added that the condition of the tree has improved vastly because of their careful observation.

“It will take two more months to completely rejuvenate the tree. It is showing progress, it is a good sign. Presently all the staff are engaged only in reviving the tree,” he said.



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