IDUKKI: Minister for Forest A K Saseendran on Tuesday ordered the uprooting of as many as 2,000 trees immediately from Marayur Sandalwood Reserve as they are facing a serious threat with the spreading of the Sandalwood Spike Disease (SSD).
Though SSD is an infection that has been affecting the trees here for the past 40 years, the number of trees getting damaged has increased in the past two years. Currently, there is no option but to cut down and remove the infected trees to prevent the spread of the disease caused by phytoplasma - bacterial parasites of plant tissues - which are transmitted by insect vectors, said Saseendran.
“Currently, there are no preventive mechanisms or cures to check the spread of the communicable disease. Hence, the decision was made to uproot the infected trees before it could spread more,” the minister said.
Infected trees that could be sold will be shifted to the department’s depot.