Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Oudamber Tree-sthala vriksha at Uma Maheshwar temple, Mangalore

Oudamber Trees- (Gulaar) Ficus .
I was at Shree UmaMaheshwar Temple, Mangalore 19th-22nd March and and  had the good fortune to  study and photograph  two outstanding Oudamber (Ficus) trees.This post  features the Sthala Vriksha at the temple adjacent to Shri Dattatreya Sannidhi;
It is a very old tree and maybe over 75 years old and was extremely well decorated in Alankar -see  pics.below.

Note- next post   is of the Oudamber Tree at Anandashram Kanhangad.

Sthala vriksha at Uma Maheshwar temple, Mangalore, nearShreeDattatreya Guru Sannidhi
In Alankar -with Shri Dattatreya Moorthy

Shri Dattatreya in Sannidhi
Shree UmaMaheshwar Temple, Mangalore, entrance.

Each was a wonder in many ways and as I studied them realised what a marvel of creation a Tree is -ranging from:
1)  Trees Give only and take nothing. 
2) Tolerates so much  from all esp actions of Man.
3. The strange symbiotic relationship with Wasps in pollination.
The Regenerative capacity of a Tree is  truly  Divine and so it does so much good.
However I noticed some leaves had what is called "galls -on leaves"-possibly arising from insects (Wasps possibly) 
I am not a Botanist and so referred to all sources and this was confirmed.
For Tree Care /Eco Protection  here, I think a simple remedy (non harmful)  would be the Neem Guard liquid that is used as a Herbicide -sold in Garden stores. 
However reliable sources seem to state these Galls are  not a  harmful. -
See References in comments section below-
Readers Advice / Comments welcome.  
Galls are small lumps on the Leaves-

On Magnification pic


    Dealing with Leaf Galls
    What Are Those Bumps on Your Tree’s Leaves?
    By Marie Iannotti, Guide

    Leaf galls are a frightening sight, but are not usually as serious as they appear. These bumps and deformations are usually the result of insects or mites feeding on the leaves. The gall itself is the plant’s response to the irritation. It’s not unlike the bump you get when an insect feeds on you, expect the leaf gall is not going to go away.

    Despite appearances, the insect is not living in the gall. In fact, it is very likely that once you notice the galls the insects have moved on. Before they do, they can do a lot of cosmetic damage to many plants and in particular trees. Many common trees are susceptible to leaf galls, especially in the spring. Maple, oak, elm, hackberry and others each are favored by a different insect that causes unsightly and intimidating galls. Damage will be greater following a mild winter, since more insects have survived and are hungry.

    Galls won’t usually kill a tree, but they may cause early leaf drop.

    A healthy tree will send out new growth and recover.

    What Can You Do About Galls?
    Since the damage occurred before the gall formed, treatment is rarely recommended. If you have a reoccurring problems, you can spray your tree in early spring, to lessen the severity of the damage.

  2. Quote

    1- Indian source-
    Oudamber is the Cluster fig • Hindi: गूलर Goolar •• Sanskrit: उडुम्बर Udumbara • Marathi: Umber • Malayalam: Atti • Tamil: அத்தி Atti • Kannada: Rumadi • Oriya: Dimri
    Botanical name: Ficus racemosa Family: Moraceae (Mulberry family)
    Synonyms: Ficus glomerata, Ficus lucescens, Ficus racemosa var. elongata


    Goolar is an attractive fig tree witha crooked trunk and a spreading crown. Unlike the banyan, it has no aerial roots. The most distinctive aspect of this tree is the red, furry figs in short clusters, which grow directly out of the trunk of the tree. Those looking for the flower of goolar should know that the fig is actually a compartment carrying hundreds of flowers. One might wonder how these flowers enclosed in a ball are pollinated. The flowers are pollinated by very small wasps that crawl through the opening in search of a suitable place to reproduce (lay eggs) Without this pollinator service fig trees cannot reproduce by seed. In turn, the flowers provide a safe haven and nourishment for the next generation of wasps. Goolar is a tree commonly found in cities and towns. It has evergreen leaves, if it is close to a water source. Otherwise it sheds its leaves in january.

  3. From Forestry Steve advises-Leaf infections called "galls" are bumps or growths caused as a result of the feeding and other activity of insects or mites. Powerful growth regulating chemicals produced by feeding insects or mites cause galls can occur on leaves, bark, flowers, buds, acorns, or roots. Although these galls may look like a serious problem, most are harmless to the overall health of the tree.TR

  4. Dear Sir,

    Very good article and snaps.

    Shankar Shenai