The red and white colour on tree trunks across Mumbai attracted the attention of Sallehuddin ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah, Sultan of Kedah, Malaysia on his visit to the maximum city recently. So much so that the Malaysian Royal asked officials of Malaysian consulate in Mumbai to find out the idea behind painting the tree trunks in red and white colours.
Tree trunks in Mumbai are painted red and white using Sinopia (geru) and lime.
On the direction of Sultan Tuanku Sallehuddin of Malaysia's Kedah state, the Malaysian consulate-general in Mumbai Zainal Azlan Mohd Nadzir visited the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) garden department in Byculla on Friday. His visit was meant to study the painting of tree trunks in Mumbai in typical red and white colours using Sinopia (Geru) and lime.
According to BMC officials, the Sultan of Kedah state in Malaysia, visited Mumbai and noticed the red and white colours on the tree trunks in Mumbai. On his return, he asked officials to find out the reasons for the colours and check if they help protect the trees. Following this the consulate officials visited the BMC’s garden department in Byculla.
Nadzir met Jitendra Pardeshi, the BMC’s superintendent of gardens, who explained him in detail on why the civic body paints tree trunks in Mumbai with a coating of Sinopia and lime. The BMC officials told Nadzir and other officials that the dual coating protects the trees from fungi, insects and termites that make the trees hollow.
“Sinopia has acidic properties. Lime, on the other hand, has alkaline properties. Proper application of both sinopia and lime helps control the fungus in such trees. In areas where it rains more, trees are more likely to get mold. Therefore, even in rain-fed areas like Mumbai, trees are more likely to get moldy. To prevent the fungus from spreading, Sinopia, which has acidic properties, is applied to the lower part of the trunk, while lime, which has alkaline properties, is applied on the upper part,” an official from civic garden's department said.
While Nadzir presented a book to the BMC officials on parks in Malaysia, the civic garden department officials gifted Nadzir a Bonsai Banyan tree.
Nadzir told the civic officials that based on the information taken from the BMC’s garden department, authorities in Malaysia too will study and adopt the system and paint tree trunks there with a coat of Sinopia and lime.