Tree doctor treats, saves trees from getting axed

Tree doctor treats, saves trees from getting axed

Tree doctor treats, saves trees from getting axed
Vijay Nishanth, a 32-year-old urban conservationist, popularly known as ‘tree doctor,’ has been saving many trees from getting axed across the City.

Nishanth treats trees suffering from diseases or those poisoned with chemical substances by performing an ‘operation’ on them. Explaining the procedure, he said, “We clean the affected area, scrape out the infected wood and apply a liquid bandage made from a mixture of bee wax and orange oil. This protects the tree and acts as an insect repellent.”

He has “operated upon” more than ten trees across Bengaluru, most of which have survived.

“Recently, when my colleague and I were conducting a tree census in Vijayanagar, we found two poisoned Jamoon trees in the area. The trunk of the tree had been scraped and laced with a chemical. We returned the next day with our equipment and treated it. Huge crowds gathered to see the two-hour surgery. This was because people normally see trees being axed or drilled to erect advertisements and hoardings, but not trees being treated,” Nishanth told Deccan Herald.

Timber mafia
The timber mafia poisons tree trunks due to which the tree gradually dies. The poisoned tree is then cut down and sold for a price. This happens in many places across the City, said noted conservationist A N Yellappa Reddy.

Normally, trees are poisoned with mercury or sulphuric acid. But in some cases, the poisonous substance is not known and private laboratories refuse to analyse unknown samples. This time, the sample has been sent to the forest department for testing, Nishanth said.

When asked about tree-poisoning cases, N D Sudarshan, Deputy Conservator of Forests, BBMP, said he had never come across this phenomenon. “It was only recently that we heard of such a case. We have only heard of trees and branches being uprooted,” he said.
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