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The ‘oldest’ member of Delhi’s Nehru Park: Ullu ka ped, or the owl tree

A sprawling, big maharukh tree is the native celeb on the Nehru Park. Workers on the park, who realize it as “ullu ka ped” or just “ullu” (owl), say that it has been photographed a number of instances.

“It’s presumably the oldest tree right here. It was planted earlier than any of us began working right here. It can’t be youthful than 50 years,” stated Kishori Lal, the senior most gardener at Nehru Park, who has been working there since 1982. Folks have come to take footage of it, and an occasion has been held beneath it, Kishori Lal stated.

On a winter afternoon, when teams of individuals soak within the solar on the park’s manicured lawns, the leaves of the tree rustle in a lightweight breeze. The leaves are rather a lot like neem leaves, however a lot larger, giving the tree one other identify – mahaneem.

The leaves of the tree are rather a lot like neem leaves, however a lot larger, giving the tree one other identify – mahaneem.

The maharukh tree (Ailanthus excelsa) dwarfs the youthful jacaranda timber planted in rows close by. “It grows very quick, and doesn’t want a lot care,” Kishori Lal stated. It’s fed by rainwater every time it rains, and doesn’t want common watering. The tree has thick branches, with newer ones rising out of them. The pathway that runs by way of the park lies beside the tree, whereas the tree itself is on a small island of grass.

Gardeners on the park are conflicted over why the tree known as ullu ka pedh. Whereas Kishori Lal stated that owls inhabit the tree and that it has hollows which can be good for owls, Leelaram, one other gardener, says it’s only a identify, like every other.

The maharukh is on an inventory of 16 timber that the Delhi authorities had supposed to declare as ‘heritage’ a couple of years in the past. Whereas the plan had been to place up signal boards round these timber describing them, no such descriptive board has been put up across the maharukh.

The leaves and bark of the deciduous tree are used as a tonic for fever, bronchitis and dyspepsia, Pradip Krishen writes in his guide Timber of Delhi. The wooden of the tree is used for packing instances and toys. He writes that the tree is widespread in Delhi, on Copernicus Marg, in parks and public gardens, and can also be seen within the Ridge. Small, yellow flowers may be seen on these timber in March, whereas the leaves start to fall in April.

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