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The cable edge

Issue Date: Oct 15, 1994
Trees in the cities of the UK are feeling the cutting edge of the latest communications boom. Tree roots are being severed as cable companies dig trenches along an estimated 80 km of streets a day to feed the insatiable public appetite for new television channels.

Last blossom

Issue Date: Oct 15, 1994
An ornamental plant -- Eremostachys superba -- found only in India and Pakistan, is on the verge of extinction. A study conducted by researchers R R Rao and Arti Garg of the Lucknow-based National Botanical Research Institute reveals that E superba has vanished from one of its 2 Indian sites, the Rajaji National Park in UP, and the plant population at the other site at Mohand near Dehradun has dropped to just 25 plants (Current Science, Vol 67, No 2).

Plants as toxin purifiers

Issue Date: Jul 31, 1994
Plants have long been known as air purifiers, but now Paul Jackson, a microbiologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, is using plant cells to purify liquids contaminated with heavy metals like barium and uranium, and with the residue of explosives like TNT.

Hacked heart

Author(s): Pallavi Chopra
Issue Date: Mar 31, 1994
I WAS 14 when we moved out of the village. Though I do not remember much of 'the village, the tree that bore saffron flowers has a permanent place in my heart. My most playful years spent swaying in its arms and on its branches. As the sun shown its efflorescence would radiate and as the sun set, leaving its glow behind ,the tree coyed like a ewly wed bride. . When my ears are bursting into youth, I found

Saved from the axe

Author(s): Max Martin
Issue Date: Mar 15, 1994
WRAPPED AND bound in red tape, the 276 obstinate deodars growing near Tutu village in Rampur sub-division of Himachal Pradesh's Shimla district were an uncomplaining target for freewheeling woodcutters roaming the area. This time round, they were saved from the axe by a bunch of gritty village women.

There's more to trees than timber

Author(s): Ann Danaiya
Issue Date: Nov 15, 1993
Which is better: a forest where trees and plants grow wild and free or a plantation of one or two species of trees, lined up neatly? Forests in their natural state are generally regarded as useless and chaotic whereas orderly plantations are considered to be "sustainably yielding" for logging.

Arboreal witness

Issue Date: Aug 31, 1993
A tree testifying against a murder suspect? But that's exactly what happened recently in the US -- a "genetic fingerprint" from two seedpods found in the suspect's truck was found to be identical to that of a paloverde tree at the site of the murder (Science, Vol 260, No 5110).

Pollutants take heavy toll of European trees

Issue Date: Jun 15, 1993
ATMOSPHERIC pollution is taking a heavy toll of European trees. The 1991 survey of trees conducted by the UN Economic Commission for Europe shows nearly a quarter of all trees are defoliated.The majority of critically affected forests are in Bulgeria, erstwhile Czechoslovakia, Germany, Poland and the UK. Overall conifires are in a worse state than the broadleaved trees.

New fruit of jam

Issue Date: May 15, 1993
SOME HIMALAYAN species of Ficus -- the genus to which the pipal and the banyan belong -- yield fruit that have high nutritive value and are excellent for making into jams and jellies. Scientists say these species should be considered favourably for social and agroforestry programmes.

Ending resin tapping

Issue Date: Mar 31, 1993
Widespread damage to pine forests near Dharmsala in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh has prompted the Chaneta village panchayat to pass a resolution urging the government to halt resin tapping immediately. The villagers, concerned that trees are running dry because of indiscriminate tapping by the State Forest Corp (SFC), warned they would physically prevent SFC staff from entering forests.
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