Axing, pruning of ‘toot’ mulberry trees leave NGO members fuming

Balwant Garg

Tribune News Service

Faridkot, June 17

Axing main branches and hard pruning of four ‘toot’ mulberry (Morus Alba) trees in the hot weather near the bus stand here on Monday left many residents and members of an NGO fuming. As these trees were providing shade and protection to a large number of passengers and rickshaw pullers in these hot days, they were surprised to see hard pruning and axing of main branches of these trees.

“All these full-grown four mulberry trees were in front of some commercial establishments, including a private hospital. As passengers and rickshaw pullers under the shade of these trees were causing discomfort to the owner of the hospital and other shopkeepers, these trees on public property were pruned without permission from the competent authority,” said volunteers of Society for Ecological and Environmental Resources (SEER), a organisation which is spearheading a movement to make Faridkot green with plantation and nurturing of thousands of trees in the past over 15 years.

Demanding strict action against the persons who got these trees pruned from the Deputy Commissioner, SEER members alleged there was a hidden agenda to uproot these trees.

“Hard pruning at this time is aimed at killing and removing these trees. As the permission to remove these trees was not possible, the owner of the hospital and other persons got these trees pruned in these hot weather conditions. With this, these will dry up and die natural death in the next one month,” alleged the SEER volunteers.

There is no pruning of the trees in hot summer days as the leave provide food to them and maintain temperature. With the removal of excessive amount of foliage, the trees are weakened and not have enough food producing leaves left. With over-pruned trees also get sunburn. This is called sunscald.

“Proper pruning consists of removal of dead, rubbing, criss-crossing, broken and interfering branches called a crown cleaning and in case of ‘toot’, this pruning is advisable in January month. The only motive of the pruning these trees in hot summer days is to destroy them,” said the SEER volunteers.

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