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The Raintree Project
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The Raintree project

100s of raintrees are seen dying in Mumbai. Cause of death unknown. These shade giving trees have lined the streets of Mumbai for more than half a century and are now seen dying. They are seen planted on the streets, in green open spaces like garderns, in the recreational area of the National Park, private spaces like housing societies, schools, office complexes, hospitals etc.
Known in Latin as Albizia saman, the Raintree is a species of flowering tree in the pea family, Fabaceae, that is native to the Neotropics. Its range extends from Mexico south to Peru and Brazil, but it has been widely introduced to South and Southeast Asia, as well as the Pacific Islands, including Hawaii. Common names include saman, rain tree and monkeypod. The name "rain tree" was coined in India, especially Bengal.
Its origin is the moisture that collects on the ground under the tree, largely the honeydew-like discharge of cicadas feeding on the leaves. According to a research conducted at the School of Forestry of the Bogor Agricultural Institute, Indonesia, a mature tree with a crown diameter measuring 15 meters absorbed 28.5 tons of carbon dioxide annually.
Vanashakti in its initiative is investigating the cause of the death of these trees, conceptualizing mitigative measures to revive these old, large canopied shade givers.
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