The Save Aarey Group planted more than 1,400 seeds of Palmyra Palm or Taad trees in the area during the weekend.
Sanjiv Walsan of the Save Aarey group said the seeds were collected from Aarey colony and 1,400 seeds were planted in the area from School no 16, Dairy and VVIP guest house in Aarey.
“The tree is a sanctuary. It is a close companion of humans since prehistoric times, and gives sugar, medicinally rich jaggery, fruits, alcoholic beverage (thaadi) and craft materials, revives degraded land and raises groundwater tables, in addition to supporting many animals, birds, reptiles and insects with both food and shelter. This is a very slow growing tree, taking a dozen years to fruit, but once it does, it gives fruit for 120 years,” Walsan said.
Palmyra leaves were used for writing and had household, religious and agricultural uses. Its plantations have dwindled; and knowledge of palmyra palm leaf weaving and jaggery making is fading.
“We initiated this drive to save this useful but slow growing tree through seed plantation, which requires zero irrigation by humans and is hence a more natural and eco-friendly technique compared to sapling plantation,” Rev. Godson Samuel of a St Paul Methodist Tamil Church of Aarey said.
Samuel said that over 1,000 seeds were planted last year. “We are planning another drive in Dadar and Shivaji Park. We are looking at seeds from Madh and Marve,” Samuel said.