What we stand to lose

Trees along the steel flyover stretch have won a reprieve. We take a walk along the greenest stretch to meet them

Published: 09th November 2016 10:51 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th November 2016 03:34 AM   |  A+A-

Whata

Whata

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The proposed steel flyover, between Basaveshwara Circle and Hebbal, has been put on hold. But if it does come crashing through the city, then it will bring down 812 trees.
The Bangalore Development Authority had assured  citizens that they will plant 60,000 saplings  in various layouts, instead. But citizens refused to budge and with good reason. City Express took a walk through the stretch to identify the trees we may lose, if the steel flyover makes a comeback, and how they benefit us. Tree expert Ganeshram, naturalist from ArtyPlantz, accompanied us.

Wild fig tree(Ficus virens)
The one near Hotel Chalukya is one of the rarest trees in the city. This particular one could be around 25 years of age and, with plentiful fruits, is home to many birds. It is an indigenous tree species.

Rain Tree (Albizia saman)
This traces its origin to Madagascar and we find many such along the length of our walk. The one near Golf Club is nearly 25 to 30 years old. Its flowers attract butterflies, bees and birds that feed on insects. The tree is usually valued for the shade is provides, with its wide canopy. This variety grows fast.

Mango tree (Mangifera indica)
A tree near the Chalukya Circle Bus Stop provides shade of many commuters who board buses. The nearly 40-year-old tree bears plentiful fruits and shelters birds. It also has a religious significance because people collect its leaves for their rituals.

TamArind Tree (Tamarindus indica)
Tamarind trees of African origin are planted near the entrance of the Bangalore Golf Club. We find two such trees here and a few more near the site of the proposed bridge. Besides bearing tamarind, it is great for children to climb. Its fruits are also used to prepare traditional medicines.

Bamboo Trees (Bambusa sp)
Bamboo trees stand opposite to the Golf Club. They are the fastest-growing trees and provide a safe hiding place for smaller birds. In addition, it shelters many lizards and frogs. Bamboos make the soil fertile with its decomposing leaves and keeping the soil moist.

Gulmohar Tree (Delonix regia)
A decade-old Gulmohar tree stands inside the Balabrooie Guest House compound. It is a native to South America and is also known as the May Flower Tree. Its flowers are bright red and attracts a lot of bees and insects, because it stores large quantities of nectar.

Akash Mallike (Millingtonia)
The trees near Palace Guttahalli flyover are more than 10 years old. Flowers have a fine fragrance and they are used to weave garlands. The bark of the tree is used to make bottle corks.

Champaka Tree (Magnolia champaca)
Champaka Trees near the official house of Minister Tanveer Sait is more than 50 years old. It is a native species and gives out a pleasing fragrance. The tree has religious significance and the flowers are used for rituals. The flowers are full of nectar and attract birds and bees and other insects.

Fish tale palm tree (Caryota)
Caryota is also known as fish-tale palm because of the shape of its leaves. The tree located near Hotel Le Meridien is more than a decade old. It accommodates a lot of birds and bats feed on the fruits of these trees. The tree gives toddy or neera, commonly seen in South India.

Peepal Tree (Ficus religiosa)
Along the flyover stretch, stand many peepal trees. The one which is located inside the Judges Quarters is more than a 100 years old and in it lives many birds and squirrels. This species can also prevent noise pollution with its leaves acting as shields. Peepal tree also has religious significance.

Jamun Tree  (Syzygium cumini)
A 15-year-old Jamun tree near the minister’s  house shelters many herbivores and birds. The tree produces edible fruits in large quantities. It is a slow-growing tree and can reach heights of up to 30 m. Jamun trees can live for more than a 100 years.

Christmas Tree ( Araucaria)
These are ornamental trees brought in by the British. There is one inside the official house of Minister Tanveer Sait and is nearly 50 years old. With its horizontal, spreading branches that grow in whorls and leathery or needle-like leaves, it has ornamental value. 

Jamun Tree  (Syzygium cumini)
A 15-year-old Jamun tree near the minister’s  house shelters many herbivores and birds. The tree produces edible fruits in large quantities. It is a slow-growing tree and can reach heights of up to 30 m. Jamun trees can live for more than a 100 years.

African Tulip Tree (Spathodea campanulata)
An African Tulip tree insides the Balabrooie Guest House premises is more than 20 years old. It attracts a lot of small birds and insects, and flowers all 365 days with orange flowers. They are planted for ornamental value too.

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