Telangana’s ‘modern-organic’ treatment brings green shoots in centuries-old tree

  • The great banyan tree of Telangana, Pillalamarri has got a new lease of life and is now back in healthy germination thanks to the tireless efforts of the Mahabubnagar district administration, whose ‘modern-organic’ treatment boosted the immunity of the centuries-old giant.
  • By turning a new leaf in conservation, the officials demonstrated how the dramatically decaying process of the termite-infested tree could be reversed and put back on the growth path.
  • As a result, it has now started sprouting new leaves.
  • Micromanagement conservation efforts of the massive banyan tree by the Forest officials had yielded great results and it is now put back on the growth trajectory.
  • Spread over three-and-half acres, the 700-year-old ficus tree, one of the oldest and largest on the planet, is situated around 4 km from Mahbubnagar town. With truck-sized prop roots growing all over the compound, the officials couldn’t identify the mother root yet.
  • In December 2017, one of the termite-infested branches of the tree, which was neglected by officials and vandalised by tourists for decades, came crashing down. A month later, the then District Collector Ronald Rose decided to give a new lease of life to the tree and chalked out action plans in coordination with the officials of the Forest Department.
  • To contain the termite attack, we sprayed chlorpyrifos on the tree. Starting few months, we sprayed on the branches, and later realised the practise was not effective, as the solution was seeping inside the trunk, so we drilled holes into the branches and stem and injected the chlorpyrifos.
  • Later, the officials started injecting chlorpyrifos through ‘saline drip’ and the bottles were spread all over.
  • As the branches were falling, green shoots were a rarity. But now we there is a view of new leaves, which have a reddish tinge, sprouting at many places. The tree is sending a message of revival.