Friday, February 24, 2006

The end of a 250 year old tree

The end of a 250 year old tree
Vijay Times

T was just a mango tree and it did not belong to a special species," was all that V asanth Kumar , the director of the Department of Horticulture, could say on the chopping of a mango tree, believed to have been planted by Tipu Sultan at Lalbagh.

The Horticulture Department, it seems, has forgotten a promise it made long ago. A promise to rejuvenate the 250-yearold tree, which had served to remind many about the great sultan, even if only for a moment.

The wood of the tree, which was felled a couple of days back, was carried away by people to be used as fire wood.

Authorities, who claim that they had been trying to revive the tree for the last three years, said the decision to axe it had been taken as "it was posing a threat to visitors." Earlier , some senior officials in the Horticulture Department had told Vijay T imes that a piece of the tree would be grafted. This, they said, would enable them to produce trees that resembled the mother tree in every possible way .

The grafted saplings were supposed to have been distributed to those interested and also planted at Lalbagh.

Kumar , who initially said that a piece of the tree may be fossiled or made into furniture, on realising that the brittle bark would not last more than a few days, quickly said : "I think the best thing is to allow mother earth to take it into her . Every tree has to die." Speaking about the fate of the other two trees, also said to have been planted around 1750 near the historical band stand, Kumar said : "These trees have a life span of another 25 years each. By next June, we will be grafting them to make their replicas to keep them alive." With one promise already having been broken, how far will the department go to keep its next promise? Only time will tell.


Post a Comment

<< Home