Mystery of the missing trees at Botanical Gardens
Shibpur’s Botanical Gardens is famous for its abundance of rare species of trees and plants, most significantly the Great Banayan Tree, that has lived for decades on this land. But recently the Gardens hit headlines for vanishing of certain trees. Well, do not think log poachers have invaded this garden, instead it is the mischief of certain trees that have literally eaten up others.
Botanical Gardens was founded in 1787 by the British, the primary agenda was cultivation of plants that had a great commercial value. Today, on 273 acres of land, it has more than 12,000 plants of which 1,400 are shrubs of various species. Now it seems, many of these old and valuable trees have disappeared including a Rudraksh Tree. Although there is a mention of the time of plantation of this particular tree in the Garden’s record book, no information about its death is available. Scientists got extremely perturbed after the incident came to the forefront. None of them could come to terms with the fact that many such rare trees have been chopped off despite tight security.
While trying to solve the mystery of the missing trees, scientists realized that many of these valuable trees have been choked to death by asphyxiation by some gigantic trees and this has been happening for years without anyone realizing the same. There is substantial information of such happenings in the world of plants. Such incidents are common in forests, but such carnivorous parasitic happenings within a preserved garden is definitely a cause of concern.
The garden authorities found there was no existence of 162 trees under the category of preservation. The ancient Rudraksh trees also fall under this category. All these 162 trees have succumbed to death in the hands of seven trees of Morasi family. These include banayan and asathwa trees. Even the famous Great Banayan Tree was born on a palm tree. Consequently, the palm tree was killed.
Trees of the Morasi family generally grow on another tree. The seedling covers the tree with the help of breathing roots and engulfs it like a silent killer. So, if trees of the Botanical Gardens need to be saved, the growing breathing roots of the Morasi trees need immediate removal. The authorities are ensuring no other tree perishes in a place where the precious trees are supposed to be preserved.