HISTORIC BER (JUJUBE) TREES IN GOLDEN TEMPLE AMRITSAR (PUNJAB) - TWENTY YEARS OF CONSISTENT CARE
The ber (Indian jujube) is one of the most ancient and common fruit of India. It has a long historic background and is mentioned in the earliest Sanskrit literature and with many other names in different languages. It is intimately connected with the folklore of people of Punjab. The reference of jujube is available in religious holy books and jujube plants are considered most sacred. Sikh Gurus preferred to plant jujube trees in the religious places (Gurdwaras). In the Golden Temple, Amritsar, the historic jujube trees are the sign of rich heritage. Ber Baba Budha Sahib is one of the oldest jujube trees and is considered 440 years old. As this tree was associated with religious Saint Baba Budha Ji, hence it is called Ber Baba Budha Sahib. Dukh Bhanjani Ber and Lachhi Ber are also very old jujube trees. The jujube tree is known to live for 100 years but these trees have lived four times more than the recorded life span. These trees had started drying up from the tips in the late 1990s. Many branches were dried and heavily infested by lac insects. The devotees used to touch the main stem with their greasy hands after partaking of the Parshad. This results into clogging the passage of sap of the trees and they started drying up, while further attacked by lac insects. Three prolonged strategies to fight the decay that had set in the trees were adopted in 1993. In the rejuvenation process, dried and dead branches were heavily pruned during the month of May as the trees are summer deciduous. Trees were sprayed with various insecticides to kill lac and other insects. The pathological aspect was also studied side by side. The trees started showing signs of improvement in health, flowering and fruiting. The pruning, rejuvenation and other useful operations are being continued. The devotees and visitors are advised neither to place Parshad near the main stem of the plant nor to touch the plants with oily hands as this can harm the bark of the plant. It is necessary to provide a healthy environment to sacred jujube trees so that the life of plants can be further prolonged. In this way rich heritage can be preserved.
Bal, J.S., Sharma, D.R. and Singh, P. (2013). HISTORIC BER (JUJUBE) TREES IN GOLDEN TEMPLE AMRITSAR (PUNJAB) - TWENTY YEARS OF CONSISTENT CARE. Acta Hortic. 993, 37-41
Golden Temple, historic jujube trees, rejuvenation, people's faith