LIFE

Of tree wealth on a college campus

Staff Reporter

OFFERING SHADE: A jack tree standing close to the Ayurveda College building.

OFFERING SHADE: A jack tree standing close to the Ayurveda College building.  

Friends of Trees, a city-based environment group, has documented the tree wealth on the Ayurveda College campus in the city.

The secretary, C. K. Karunakaran, a former Chief Conservator of Forests, said that for the past two months, members of the group had been engaged in preparing a register of the trees on the 1.5-acre campus.

The `tree register' contains local and scientific names of the trees on the campus. The girth and location of the trees also find mention in the book.

There are 198 trees belonging to 57 species, 54 genus and 27 families in the college. The group found that tree wealth on the campus is quite commendable, considering the mix of species.

Even in the interior evergreen forests, it is difficult to come across such tree diversity for a unit area of one hectare. The group will be placing zinc plates on the trees to help the public identify the species.

Fruit and shade trees on the campus include jack, mango, `arayal,' `athi,' `pongamia' and `njaval.'

The flowering trees are `kanikkonna,' `poompathiri' and gulmohar. The rare species are `neermathalam,' `marotti' and `babul.'

The group also found that trees such as acacia, manjium, copper pod and mahagony, which are thought to upset bio-diversity in the State, were absent on the campus. Trees with medicinal properties were found in abundance. This includes Eblic myrobalan, Belleric myrobalan, `arayal' and `athi,' two of the four `naalpamarams,' `asokam,' `kanjiram,' `marotti,' `kutakappala,' `koovalam' and sandal. The group will plant red sanders, `chamatha,' `pathimukham,' `adalodakam' and `kodampuli' on the campus on Sunday in connection with World Environment Day. Aswathi Thirunal Lakshmi Bhai of the ruling family of erstwhile Travancore will attend the function.

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