BLEEDING TREES

Once Upon a Time ,Wild Deer , Elephants and Tigers would have roamed these Hills now overtaken by domesticated Cattle and numerous “Crying Trees “.

The Para Rubber Tree ( English), Hevea brasinlliensis ( Scientific name)  was first planted in India by the British  from the Americas ( Brazil in South America)  in the early 20th Century .They felled the Naturally Occurring Rainforests and replaced them with Rubber Plantations to harvest Natural Latex. ( this act was replicated across South East Asia as well )

A  Rubber Plantation on the slopes of the Western Ghats in District Pathnamthitta, Kerala, India as it exists today after over 100 years.

This Plantation is close to the  Konni Elephant Rescue Centre  mentioned in previous blogs titled BABY ELEPHANTS and MAMMOTH BATH.

miles of rubber
Rubber Trees replaced Rainforests

The Rubber Trees in Plantations across Kerala are native to the Amazonian Rain forests and a  rich Natural Source of Rubber.

The trees are wounded by repeated Cuts to release a Milky latex which is collected in Coconut Shells.

Is it a wonder they are  called “Caotchoue” by the Native Americans which literally translates to Crying Tree.

bleeding
Bleeding and Bandaged Trees

As you can see in the picture above there are several angled cuts on the Trunks of the trees.

Vast Lands which once supported an astonishing range of Flora of Fauna were laid waste and replaced by Rubber Plantations to commercially harvest Natural Rubber which oozes from the Core of these Crying Trees.

The Milky Latex is collected in little Cups made from Coconut Shells.

drop by drop
Collection of the Sap

First the Rainforests were felled and replaced by Plantations, then the forest dwellers like the Elephants chained and finally the Trees were made to Bleed.

I understand that the closest competitor to Natural Rubber is Synthetic Rubber which is derived from Petroleum. Thus when the prices of Crude Oil fall so do the prices of Rubber.

As we all know Crude Oil prices are scraping the bottom of the Barrel and that spells a death Knell for the Rubber Plantations as well.

Is this the Revenge of the Bleeding Trees ?

 

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Published by

mukul chand

51 year old entrepreneur who has traveled extensively around the world for work and pleasure , is based in New Delhi, India. A passionate traveler born with a love for flora and fauna, is an active naturalist and amateur photographer. Here he shares his unique insight into Incredible India revealing its mysterious and exotic treasures. Writing from his heart he shares his experiences as he crisscrosses this vast and amazing land.

36 thoughts on “BLEEDING TREES”

  1. Mukul, there’s something so very sad about the whole idea of razing natural forests to enslave them for human consumption. Crying trees and captured elephants, not to speak of all the forest creatures sacrificed for ‘progress’. We humans have a lot to answer for.

    Liked by 1 person

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