The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to conserve trees that are more than 100 years old and give them the status of ‘heritage’. The Principal Chief Conservator of forests (PCCF) Pawan Kumar recently directed the state’s Forest Department to collaborate with gram sabhas to identify such trees in their respective village areas and ensure their conservation.
After their identification, a display board will be put up near each tree giving details about its age, species and how it is beneficial to both man and animal. The PCCF said: “I have submitted guidelines on this project to the government and the approval will come in a week’s time. Thereafter, all the DFO’s will be officially informed to start working on this project.
“Approximately 60,000 trees will be identified in phase one of this project, which will be led by the a biodiversity management committee. Directions will be sent to railways, cantonment boards and government residential colonies to share information about heritage trees in the area under their jurisdiction and allow the committee to start efforts for their conservation.”
Ramesh Pandey, Chief Conservator of Forest and Secretary, Uttar Pradesh Biodiversity Board, said: “The government’s move to identify and protect old trees is deep-rooted in our tradition of worshipping certain trees and groves.”
He said that the common trees which are older than 100 years old are mostly from the Ficus family such as banyan and peepal and are also called sacred fig.
“They are deciduous evergreens and many have aerial roots. Also the jamun, tamarind and sal trees are among the oldest trees in this region. We have identified a few century-old trees in the city area and the staff has been directed to speak with the gram pradhan concerned to send a photograph of such old trees to us,” Pandey added.