Jagdalpur (Chhattisgarh), Oct.3 : A cluster of four gigantic Sagwan (teak) trees, believed to be over two centuries old may soon decay despite being located in Ecotone region of teak and protected by the Forest Department.
These trees hold high significance for the local tribes in Machkot jungles in Chhattisgarh who worship them as an index of good omen.
One of these Sagwan trees, fondly named Bharat is slowly dying despite monitoring. The other three trees in this historical cluster have been named after Lord Rama, Laxmana, and Shatrugana, the mythological characters of Ramayana, the Hindu epic.
"Administration formed a team of three botanical experts to maintain and monitor the condition of teak trees in the Makchot region. I am also part of this team and according to us, this tree that is fondly called as Bharat tree is decaying because of its natural process, not because of any external reasons, said Dr. Divendra Kumar Mishra, Professor of Botany, Indira Gandhi Agricultural University, Raipur.
Teak has many other uses in addition to being an excellent timber. Its wood contains a kind of scented oil, which renders any box or wardrobe made therefore repellent to white ants and other insects.
The leaves of teak tree yield a kind of dye, which is used locally in dying of clothes, and edibles. These leaves are also used as packing material and for making eco-friendly leaf cups and plates and poor man's umbrellas.
The wood when hollowed exudes a kind of gum, which is used in Paan-Masala (additive in betel leaf).
The juice of teak flowers is used for common cold and reportedly; it also whets appetite and relieves headache and acidity.
However, this rich teak tree is susceptible to damage by insects and bacteria.
Considering the priceless values possessed by the teak, the Forest Departments prepare its seedlings in their nurseries for planting on government land and also provide them to people interested in its plantation.
Machkot forest falls under the Jagdalpur District, an area abundant in teak trees that, in turn, has earned it as ecotone region. By Shiv Shankar Sarthi