40 varieties of saplings available at Forest nurseries

If gardening is your hobby, you should be heading for the two nurseries of the Forest Department at Padil and Thumbe.

On offer are 40 varieties of saplings of flowering plants and fruit bearing trees — from mango and jackfruit to gooseberries — all priced between Rs. 2 and Rs. 20 per sapling for general public; and Re. 1 and Rs. 5 for farmers.

The sale will begin immediately after monsoon sets in. This is because the plants will have higher survival rates if planted in monsoon.

Clifford Lobo, Range Forest Officer (RFO), Mangalore, told The Hindu the department would also begin planting saplings on roadsides and other available spaces to increase green cover. The saplings in the nurseries have been grown keeping in mind the needs of both farmers on outskirts of the city and people in the city.

He suggested that cherry, mahogany, devadaru and wild almond are most suitable to the weather condition of the city. Of the flowering varieties, he recommended kakke, peltophorum, renja, hole dasavala and May flower.

The RFO said that people can purchase grafted mango saplings of totapuri, alphonso, kalapadi, mallika, badam and totapuri varieties. “We have 2,000 grafted saplings of mango,” he said.

The nurseries have saplings of wild jackfruit, which is on the extinction, billvapatre, dhoopa, hunase, nagasampige, arali and the like.

You can purchase kokum saplings, which are in much demand now. And if you love nerale’ fruits (jamoon), the department has raised 1,250 saplings.

He said that honne is most suited for planting on the seashore side. The department has raised 8,500 saplings of honne sapplings. People living on the outskirts of the city can purchase saguvani (teak). The department has 20,000 teak saplings. It can be planted for commercial purpose on agriculture land. “We have 5,000 saplings of sandalwood,” he said.

He said that mahogany is basically a Western Ghats species meant for farmers. It grows tall and the timber can be used for commercial purposes.

People may consult the department staff at the nurseries before purchasing the saplings.

The telephone number of the RFO is 2425167.

Avoid large trees

A botanist suggests that people in the city who have small holdings (houses on five to 10 cents of land) can plant fruit bearing plants in open spaces.

K.R. Chandrashekar, Professor, the Department of Applied Botany, Mangalore University, said people can plant saplings of mango, sapota, guava, papaya, and banana in their backyard. They could avoid saplings of large trees or ornamental trees in backyard, he said.

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