To reclaim tree cover lost to encroachment,the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) will plant 15,000 trees of various species this year,including the state flower Jarul.
The park has set a target of planting 15,000 trees of native species such as Bamboo,Sembal (Cotton tree),Karanj (Indian Beech),Jarul,Banyan and Teak by the year-end. It is part of habitat improvement and maintaining the forest cover by plantation in the areas freed by removing encroachments. It is basically reclamation of degraded land,what we call reboisement plantation, said Sunil Limaye,chief conservator of forests (CCF) and director,SGNP.
The exercise has already begun,with a token plantation which was undertaken on the eve of World Environment Day on June 5. We planted 25 trees of the Jarul and Champak varieties, said Limaye.
Of the 15,000 trees,around 500 will be of the Jarul variety,which blooms in summer and gives purple flowers. We want to increase the count of the state flower of Maharashtra in the park, said Limaye. Besides Jarul,Bamboo and Sembal trees will be planted in large numbers.
Bamboo gives great tree cover and Sembal is a tree which attracts many birds, he said. The plantation will be done with the aid of corporates and will only feature native species as they adapt to the surroundings better than exotic species.