The massacre of mature trees in Bangalore, India

The massacre of mature trees in Bangalore, India
I was walking to college a few weeks ago and was horrified to see a huge, old mature tree being hacked to just it’s thick trunk, in the garden of one home, just off O’Shaunessy road. The men were stopped in their tracks, because I took a picture and flashed it to the forest department, to save what was left of the tree. It was a huge, old Champaka tree which perfumed the entire road, as we walked under it day after day. And in minutes, electric saws had cut down its widely spreading branches, which were always covered with the golden yellow champaka flowers.

Infact, the BBMP sweepers who swept up the carpets of fallen petals never grumbled, instead, stood on the wall and picked some flowers to stick into their plaits or their hair. Bulbuls and and tiny Prinias always flew around in its branches, probably nesting in them over the decades.
Then the shock of coming upon the hacked off branches, all being neatly cut into smaller pieces and carted off in a vehicle to probably be sawn into wooden planks, shook me to my core.

Never mind I thought, at least I have saved the trunk, when taking the pictures and flashing them. The thick trunk looked strong and tall still and I hoped with the extra rain that we had the tree would sprout all over again. But I dont think its going to happen. Different trees are different. And, it has rained copiously and yet not a shoot has peeked out. Nothing, zilch.

It reminded me of the trees in my neighbours compound. We had hardly shifted into our new building, when a huge branch from a tree in the neighbours compound fell onto the gas bank of the building. It was truly a miracle nothing broke and nothing was damaged and most of all, had not fallen on one of the workers, who are always around in the garden.

The neighbour rather than pay for the trim, decided to call in the tree cutters, who cut trees and cart away the timber for free. So, not only did they hack the Jacaranda but they also hacked a Jackfruit on the side. I was stunned by what he had done and ofcourse one of the family, a teenager at the time decided to be nasty and fired off a horrid email to me, ranting without the slightest knowledge of the whole issue. Typical, small minded blame game.

How could you tell them to cut the tree. You are the one who has caused a beautiful tree to be felled, blah, blah, in his typical ignorance and arrogance. There was a furore, as always, and then it all died down, as the trees very obligingly and possibly hearing his nasty barbs, decided to throw out fresh branches.

Today both trees have fresh branches growing out of the thick trunk and one would never say they were cut down. The birds are back, the blue- mauve Jacaranda flowers are back and the boys mouth was shut, hopefully, tight and zipped, hopefully. The Jackfruit too has grown and birds flit in and out of its thick leafy branches and all is right with my world.

But sadly, this tree which I thought was saved, has been so traumatised that no branches, no leaves, no shoots seem to be growing out and it looks dead, quite dead. They have won, they can remove the tree now citing dangerous repercussions if left to stand. A big and beautiful tree which belched out so much oxygen and nurtured the family who live in that house is gone. Probably to make way for some ugly, matchbox flats.

Trees create an ecosystem to provide habitat and food for birds and other animals.Trees absorb carbon dioxide and potentially harmful gasses, such as sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, from the air and release oxygen. One large tree can supply a day's supply of oxygen for four people.And yet, in our ignorance we cut them down, hastening our death and the end of the planet.




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