The Forest Department has launched a programme to protect, conserve and propagate the Ashoka tree (Saraca asoca) which presently faces the threat of extinction. The programme has been launched taking into consideration the environmental and medicinal significance of the tree.
As per the programme, the Forest Department requests people with Ashoka trees in their gardens to inform the department when the trees yield seeds. The trees usually flower from February to April and start producing seeds in May.
All the seeds usually go to waste, so the attempt of the Forest department now is to collect them from individual homes and propagate them. The saplings will be distributed to individuals and propagated under the social forestry programme and also inside forest areas.
Conservator of Forests, Mohammed Naushad said that last week more than 2,000 seeds were collected from a single home in Kollam. Contact numbers for information on Ashoka trees - Kollam district: 0474-2742660 and 9447979030. Punalur area: 9447979034. Mr. Naushad said the programme is being carried out in association with the National Medicinal Plants Board and all expenses will be met by the Forest Department.