‘Ailing’ blackboard tree being nursed back to health

Base of tree cleared of garbage, medicine mix applied

Tree Walk, a city-based citizens’ collective that works for green city, organised the second of its ‘tree healing’ events on the Museum-Nandavanam road on Sunday.

The focus was a ‘blackboard’ tree (Alstonia scholaris) the base of which was the site for wanton waste disposal by the public. The bark of the tree was burnt and damaged. On Saturday, Tree Walk had sought the help of the Mayor, ward councillor, and health inspector to clean the base of the tree. More than 10 sacks of plastic waste, bottles, and soiled toilet articles were collected.

The treatment was done by a team of experts in Vriksha Ayurveda, the ancient science of understanding and knowing trees. Binu K., a primary schoolteacher from Uzhavoor, and his team members Sunil Vazhoor, Gopakumar Kangazha, and Vijayakumar Ithikkanam worked at the site for more than three hours to make a medicine mix. The mixture is a selection of 20 ingredients that include cow’s milk, dung, ghee, soil from paddy field and from under the tree, kadalipazham, lotus plant, and so on. The treatment schedule is a series of meticulously executed steps that include cleaning the bark and removing nails (26 nails and one advertisement were removed from the tree). The process will find fruition when milk will be sprayed on the affected part for the next one week. The tree will then go into a resting phase for six months after which marked changes that indicate rejuvenation will be visible.

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