The Karnataka Biodiversity Board has recommended to the Government to declare 10 trees in the State as heritage trees under the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, according to the board's co-chairman Anant Hegde Ashisar.
In an informal chat with presspersons at Mangalagangotri, Mangalore University, on Wednesday he said that of the 10 trees, three each were in Bijapur and Mysore districts, one each in Chickballapur and Shimoga, and two in Bangalore Urban district, including one in Lalbagh.
Mr. Ashisar, who is the Chairman of the Task Force for Conservation and Protection of the Western Ghats, said that the board had received several representations to declare certain exceptional trees as heritage trees.
The issue was discussed in the board's meeting on July 2 and it was resolved to declare 10 of them as heritage trees, he added.
He said that a tamarind tree at Devarahipparagi village in Singadi taluk of Bijapur district was the oldest among the 10 identified trees. The 883-year-old tree has a girth of 7.78 m and height of 39.39 m. Another tree in Bijapur, a 600-year-old Adansonia digitata has a girth of 10.84 m and height of 5 m. Bijapur taluk also has a 359-year-old Adansonia digitata with 9.2-m girth and 7-m height.
Mr. Ashisar said that a 260-year-old Ficus benghalensis also known as Indian banyan tree at Chickkahally in Mysore taluk had a girth of 11.2 m and height of 30 m. A pipal tree on the University of Mysore campus is 160 years old. It has a girth of 8.8 m and height of 32 m. A “Kempu booraga mara” at the Mysore Palace gate is 130 years old. Its girth is 28 m and height is 19.4 m.
A neem tree at T. Venkatapurua village in Sidlaghatta taluk of Chickballapur district is 200 years old. Its girth is 5.4 m and height 25 m.
He said that a “pilali” tree at Banavasi in Shimoga district was 400 years old. Its girth is 330 m (it is said to be spread over two acres of land) and height 6 m.
Mr. Ashisar said the Big Banyan Tree at Kethohalli in Bangalore Urban district was 400 years old. Its height is 30 m. An Araucaria cookii tree in Lalbagh has a girth of 7 m and height of 50 m.
Mr. Ashisara said that the board had prepared the draft of the Karnataka Preservation of Heritage Trees Rules, 2010. It had decided to recommend to the Government to issue a notification to this effect, he said.
He was in the university to attend a sensitisation programme for National Service Scheme volunteers on forest and environment conservation.
The board is functioning under the Department of Forest, Ecology and Environment.