Bo Tree is healthy, say tree scientists

GAYA:  Buddhists all over the world who were concerned about the  health of the Sacred Bo tree can breathe easy now. Plant scientists from the Dehradun-based Forest Research Institute (FRI), has examined the Bodhi tree, the  ‘descendant’ of the Peepal tree under which the Buddha is believed to have  attained enlightenment about 2500 years ago.

Massive pruning of the dead branches of the tree was done under expert supervision to keep the tree in good health and remove the fungus that surfaced due between the living trunk tree and its dead branches.

The Gaya District Magistrate Sanjay Agrawal said the final report on the health status of the tree is pending. The preservation and health maintenance job of the sacred tree was earlier outsourced to the Forest Research Institute (FRI) when locals noticed that the tree appeared sick following  and persistence of mille bug, a parasite.

Since the signing of MoU between the Temple Management Committee and the FRI, scientists from the institute conduct comprehensive health checks on the tree every six months. Suresh Chandra, the plant scientist who conducted the health check-up and supervised the pruning operation, said the tree is in good health. He said appearance of fungus is a common phenomenon and remedial measures have been taken to insulate the tree from  fungus.

Medicated paste is being applied at vulnerable points to take care of the fungus. The paste will also function as anti- insecticide agent, said the scientist. Chandra has recommended yearly pruning of the sacred tree every spring season.

Earlier, plant scientists had recommended restriction on the number of visitors to the shrine as heavy footfall resulted in soil compaction, which, in turn choked the nutrition channels of the  tree. Asked if any follow-up action has been taken to restrict the number of visitors, Chandra said it was for the Shrine Management Committee to take a call on the matter.

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Posted by on April 9, 2015. Filed under Breaking News,EARTH,India,SOUTH-ASIA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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