Environmentally Unfriendly Trees of Pakistan

Endangered species esp. plants and animals (ii) impact of overuse of chemicals such as fertilizers, herbicides, & pest controls on our lives (iii) wild-life of Pakistan and (iv) other interesting notes about the environmental issues again relevant to Pakistan.

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mikhurram
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Re: Environmentally Unfriendly Trees of Pakistan

Post by mikhurram » November 7th, 2013, 5:52 pm

by M Farooq »This tree produces so much of mess, by its dead leaves, seed pods and it is huge. Certainly not a garden tree. Black ants love it, not sure why. If we look carefully notice black ants like Acacia, flame of the forest, and this tree. What could be the reason?
The initial signs indicate that this tree is a menace but what makes the case of this tree more intrigueing is its ablity of fixing nitrogen in the soil which is the basic input of agriculture. Historically, lack of nitrogen, nor lack of land or water has been its biggest impediment in acheiving larger output. Without the invention of the process to synthesise nitrogen cheaply into ammonium it would have been difficult to achieve huge gains in agriculture yields in the 20th century. Some consider it be the most significant discovery of the 20th century.

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Re: Environmentally Unfriendly Trees of Pakistan

Post by newton » November 7th, 2013, 6:52 pm

Khalid Abro wrote:I wrote a full page in half an hour and when i submitted it, it asked me to log in even though i was logged in at the start of writing now i dont see it any solution.

When your asked to log in a second time, enter details to log in and then press your back arrow two or three times (even beyond the "resubmit information" message) and you will find the post that you have written is still as you last typed it in the reply box, you have to press send again

M Farooq
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Re: Environmentally Unfriendly Trees of Pakistan

Post by M Farooq » November 7th, 2013, 9:57 pm

mikhurram wrote: The initial signs indicate that this tree is a menace but what makes the case of this tree more intrigueing is its ablity of fixing nitrogen in the soil which is the basic input of agriculture. Historically, lack of nitrogen, nor lack of land or water has been its biggest impediment in acheiving larger output. Without the invention of the process to synthesise nitrogen cheaply into ammonium it would have been difficult to achieve huge gains in agriculture yields in the 20th century. Some consider it be the most significant discovery of the 20th century.

Very true. It is said that every third nitrogen atom in our food (in the form of meat, proteins etc.) comes from the fertilizer factory. If there were no fertilizers most of the world be starving. Haber & Bosch, the persons behind most fertilizers, won Nobel Prizes in chemistry individually-the highest science prize any scientist can dream of in this world :-)

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Re: Environmentally Unfriendly Trees of Pakistan

Post by Khalid Abro » November 8th, 2013, 12:50 pm

Thanks Farhan and Farooq for your tips. Will follow next time for the time I lost that text. Actually I wanted to share some experiences regarding some of the environmentally unfriendly trees. A very interesting discussion has been carried out & an amazing learning so far. I would agree till last word with KBW on Eucalyptus! Excellently elaborated…

1. Eucalyptus: Locally known as Sufaida / Baid Mushk

I started looking for it in nurseries last year as I wanted to plant few trees at correct place (heavily water logged area) out of around 10 nurseries that I searched on University road and around Malir cantonment area I found it on only two nurseries. Given the Punjab government ban its propagation and spread has been limited so it can be safely said that the future propagation is limited. But unfortunately the tree still stands tall at many wrong locations across the country however; the good thing is that since it doesn’t propagate through seeds so it can be easily controlled.

2. Prosopis Julifera: Locally known as Devi

The tree spreads quickly on every inch of barren land I have seen it growing very commonly in many cities of Sindh & Balochistan, among many areas of Karachi it grows on open plots in well-developed societies. I once asked goat farmer about its being used a fodder for goats he told me that if any goat eats it on regular basis then it catches a mouth disease causing animal’s jaws getting displaced/imbalanced and there is no cure for that hence animal’s health gets marred due to its inability to eat food properly. The bad thing about it is that it propagates through seeds hence controlling it is a big challenge.
3. Conocarpus Erectus

The shrub is in high propagation and very heavily planted in Sindh, among many cities of Sindh the Karachi stands number one in its propagation, last city government got billions of rupees as funds for the project greener Karachi and everywhere Conocarpus was planted. I also have this shrub around my home and I closely watch it, the shrub’s flowers attract huge number of flies including bees, I have seen many species of spiders on this tree making huge webs to catch flies, I have seen squirrels and Sindh sparrow feeding on its fruit and Chameleon on it catching flies. Since it is new to Pakistan so its advantages and disadvantages can be figured out with time or through proper research or if anybody can share it with us specifically.


As far as beautiful Neem Tree is concerned it is my first love and first contact with the world of plants. My childhood tree still stands tall at my Larkano home. There is an excellent website highlighting its benefits www.neemfoundation.org the tree has recently been announced as Official tree of Sindh Province. Besides many other benefits the tree improves water level and hence an excellent indigenous tree.

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Re: Environmentally Unfriendly Trees of Pakistan

Post by M Farooq » November 9th, 2013, 3:35 am

Khalid Abro wrote: Prosopis Julifera: Locally known as Devi

The tree spreads quickly on every inch of barren land I have seen it growing very commonly in many cities of Sindh & Balochistan, among many areas of Karachi it grows on open plots in well-developed societies. I once asked goat farmer about its being used a fodder for goats he told me that if any goat eats it on regular basis then it catches a mouth disease causing animal’s jaws getting displaced/imbalanced and there is no cure for that hence animal’s health gets marred due to its inability to eat food properly. The bad thing about it is that it propagates through seeds hence controlling it is a big challenge.
Thanks for increasing my knowledge about this tree. I thought it was another form of Kikar. I may be incorrect, but someone had told me that these trees were artificially sown in Karachi and Sindh in an effort to make it green. Helicopters were used to drop the seeds. I don't think it is a native tree of and it is confirmed by Flora of Pakistan "Indigenous to West Indies and Mexico, widely naturalized in Sind and Punjab. It is good firewood and excellent for making charcoal. It is also used for fence posts"

The farmer is right, and you can search that the seed pods are very toxic for the goats, leading to tremors in the jaws. It is a well documented textbook case. It seems that our farmers know much more about Mother Nature than us.

mikhurram
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Re: Environmentally Unfriendly Trees of Pakistan

Post by mikhurram » November 9th, 2013, 5:41 pm

by M Farooq »This tree produces so much of mess, by its dead leaves, seed pods and it is huge. Certainly not a garden tree. Black ants love it, not sure why. If we look carefully notice black ants like Acacia, flame of the forest, and this tree. What could be the reason?
Dr Farooq the main reason why black ants are attracted towards these trees is because of honeydew. Whiteflies produce a sweet substance called honeydew which is coveted by these ants.

Moreover in an odd/unusual case of a Acacia variety (Acacia Cornigera) tends to release an enzyme called invertase in its nectar. Sweet foods are preferred by ants which are rich in sucrose (sugar). Ants can only digest them through invertase which breaks sucrose into smaller sugars. These ants cannot digest normal sources of sugar as they lack invertase. One sip of nectar from this tree consigns these ants to a life of indentured servitude. In return for the nectar these ants defend this Acacia variety against hungry pests/animals (even elephants) and invasive weeds which may form around the base of the tree that may outgrow it and ultimately block sunlight.

UMARKHANMARDAN
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Re: Environmentally Unfriendly Trees of Pakistan

Post by UMARKHANMARDAN » November 9th, 2013, 7:56 pm

Sufaida easily grows from seeds. I have seen it my self.The nursery men sow its seeds in plastic bags.

M Farooq
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Re: Environmentally Unfriendly Trees of Pakistan

Post by M Farooq » November 10th, 2013, 1:30 am

mikhurram wrote:
by M Farooq »This tree produces so much of mess, by its dead leaves, seed pods and it is huge. Certainly not a garden tree. Black ants love it, not sure why. If we look carefully notice black ants like Acacia, flame of the forest, and this tree. What could be the reason?
Dr Farooq the main reason why black ants are attracted towards these trees is because of honeydew. Whiteflies produce a sweet substance called honeydew which is coveted by these ants.
Moreover in an odd/unusual case of a Acacia variety (Acacia Cornigera) tends to release an enzyme called invertase in its nectar. Sweet foods are preferred by ants which are rich in sucrose (sugar). Ants can only digest them through invertase which breaks sucrose into smaller sugars. These ants cannot digest normal sources of sugar as they lack invertase. One sip of nectar from this tree consigns these ants to a life of indentured servitude. In return for the nectar these ants defend this Acacia variety against hungry pests/animals (even elephants) and invasive weeds which may form around the base of the tree that may outgrow it and ultimately block sunlight.
That is very interesting. Do we have Acacia cornigera? Honey dew by white flied could be one reason but even on healthy tree ants are in abundance. Have you had a chance to see another two horned creature...very specific to Acacias? It has a very interesting habit of "playing possum" i.e. as we touch this insect or pick it up it behaves like it is dead. After few seconds, it simply walks away.

http://www.wildwanderer.com/blog/?p=187
ant-and-treehopper.jpg

Khalid Abro
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Re: Environmentally Unfriendly Trees of Pakistan

Post by Khalid Abro » November 11th, 2013, 4:24 pm

Thanks for increasing my knowledge about this tree. I thought it was another form of Kikar. I may be incorrect, but someone had told me that these trees were artificially sown in Karachi and Sindh in an effort to make it green. Helicopters were used to drop the seeds. I don't think it is a native tree of and it is confirmed by Flora of Pakistan "Indigenous to West Indies and Mexico, widely naturalized in Sind and Punjab. It is good firewood and excellent for making charcoal. It is also used for fence posts"

The farmer is right, and you can search that the seed pods are very toxic for the goats, leading to tremors in the jaws. It is a well documented textbook case. It seems that our farmers know much more about Mother Nature than us.[/quote]

Thanks for adding further on it, after reading your comment I also recall the same thing that this tree was artificially sown in almost all parts of Sindh and in south east of Balochistan by dropping seeds from air. As one travels further towards Winder from Karachi one can see charcoal Chimneys making charcoal in mud tombs by slowly burning the tree logs and huge roots of trees, let's hope that they target "Prosopis Julifera" only so that we can restrict its aggressive wild growth.

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Re: Environmentally Unfriendly Trees of Pakistan

Post by Khalid Abro » November 11th, 2013, 4:38 pm

UMARKHANMARDAN wrote:Sufaida easily grows from seeds. I have seen it my self.The nursery men sow its seeds in plastic bags.
What I have heard is that Sufaida seeds are processed before sowing like dumped into big buckets of water for few days or similar process is followed with some changes and only then they are sowed in plastic bags, but i haven't seen any seedlings growing under trees looks like they require specific temperature requirements or conditions for sowing, therefore, i wrote that their natural propation is restricted, hope i am not wrong about it.

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