I recently came to know about a magnificent banyan tree standing alone in a middle of a densely populated area that is recently on the brink of getting extinct in her own country of origin.
Today, my efforts are about saving a tree from the dire consequences of the pure stubbornness of her people. The problem is when the tree is cut off there will be none left. It will never be replaced. People need to understand why there is always a need to save such century-old trees.
Today, I am going to document the story of a banyan tree in Sialkot which is on the verge of being cut down by the local community.
Due to a very ridiculous reason that it yielded too much foliage which is unbearable for the neighbours and the passers-by alike.
They gave an improper justification to prove their point that it is very tiresome for the residents of that area to clear the mess of the fallen leaves especially for those neighbours who park their cars under the shade of this thriving tree.
It is a bitter reality that every year thousands of trees are being chopped off for the sake of development work. It is a very gruesome and barbaric act to destroy such national heritage.
The life span of banyan tree
The minimum life span of such a banyan tree is approximately 300-500 years. But if you allow the aerial roots and branches of banyan trees to expand in favourable conditions then the chances of survival of such trees are maximum. It is not an assumption but a fact that the banyan tree can easily survive for thousands of years.
Citizen’s role in saving this tree
It should be kept in mind that this modest-looking tree is probably 150 year’s old according to a concerned citizen by the name of Yasir Mirza who first highlight this issue by talking about it on various social media platforms.
According to him, this tree was planted by his paternal grand-uncle Munshi Nizam din in the era of British colonial rule in India.
Yeh tau hamare dada k bhai ne Munshi Nizam din ne angrez daur may lagaya tha”Yasir Mirza
“Furthermore, its home to hundreds of birds”Yasir Mirza
In most traditional villages of Pakistan, a banyan tree serves as an ideal meeting place for the entire village community but the problem with this specific tree is that it lies in the middle of an urban area with cemented paths and alleys.
The definition of an heritage tree
Before ending this post, here I would like to briefly define heritage trees and why there is a need to preserve such trees. An heritage tree is any kind of tree that is more than 50 years old and is of both cultural and ecological significance. It should be of some historical importance as well and provide food, medicine and shelter to the entire ecosystem.
Now I left this question for you to think about which measurements we should take to save this national heritage?
Thank you for reading. Please like, share and comment to let me know what do you thing about this post.
Desi Gardening Facebook Group post by Yasir Mirza
Giant banyan tree in our street by Yasir Mirza