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Old 18th July 2011, 14:59   #1
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Default How to kill a Peepal Tree

I live in an old Gr +1 building in Mumbai. A peepal tree has grown in the exterior wall on the floor above me. The roots are spreading into the walls of the building and causing rain water to leak into my bathroom on the Ground floor. This is causing a huge problem as I've had a few short circuits already.

Further I have the rare privilege of having a bunch of psycho neighbors from hell (long story) who refuse to remove the tree and plaster the wall. It seems that they enjoy causing harassment to everyone else. To add to the fun, the society members are a bunch of invertebrates (read spineless) who have not taken any action inspite of several complaints. Apparently they're intimidated by the psycho family. I'm sick and tired of complaining as nobody seems to give a damn.

The solution that I have come up with is to kill the tree by injecting a herbicide or some chemical that will stop it from causing any further damage. I'm a nature lover and would be the last person to kill a tree. However it's become a hazard and has to go.

What is the quickest and most effective way to kill the peepal tree without chopping it and ripping it from the wall? If a chemical is to be administered, what is a safe chemical that won't eventually seep into the walls, water pipes and be harmful to people, other foliage in the vicinity?

I've been reading about copper sulphate which is effective but highly toxic. So far the best option seems to be Glyphosate which is marketed as a weed killer called " Round Up" in the US and seems to be less toxic yet effective. Anybody into botany, horticulture or someone who has an idea about safe and effective herbicides, please advise.
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Old 18th July 2011, 15:02   #2
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Default Re: How to kill a Peepal Tree

Could you post a pic of the tree as such? It would help in narrowing down the solution to this!
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Old 18th July 2011, 15:16   #3
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Default Re: How to kill a Peepal Tree

Isn't there a civic body that you can approach, with the claim that the tree is a threat to the building and should be cut down?
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Old 18th July 2011, 15:19   #4
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Hi Volkman,

This is an older picture but will give you a good idea. My place is on the ground floor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
Isn't there a civic body that you can approach, with the claim that the tree is a threat to the building and should be cut down?
There is. The BMC. I've tried that as well. To cut a long story short got frustrated and gave up.

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Old 18th July 2011, 15:27   #5
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Default Re: How to kill a Peepal Tree

May sound stupid, but what's problem cutting it? I mean just one fine day/night just cut the same.
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Old 18th July 2011, 15:29   #6
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Default Re: How to kill a Peepal Tree

On a hindsight, Cutting or doing anything to peepal tree is considered highly inauspicious with impact transversing several generations.Google it to learn more.Usually in such cases, the tree is shifted to a nearby temple or open ground, may be that's possible during infancy.Whatever action you take, think on these lines as well.
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Old 18th July 2011, 15:30   #7
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Default Re: How to kill a Peepal Tree

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfheart View Post
The solution that I have come up with is to kill the tree by injecting a herbicide or some chemical that will stop it from causing any further damage. I'm a nature lover and would be the last person to kill a tree. However it's become a hazard and has to go.
Killing it is never a good solution. Is it possible to remove the shrub (too small to call it a tree) without causing much damage to the wall?

If yes, then would recommend you to remove it (probably with a friend's help or two) and replant it someplace nearby where there's empty space.

Considering the rain Mumbai's getting, if you plant it properly, it should hold root easily & fast enough. Later if any of your neighbors complain, you can point towards the new location - that would take care of any complaints raised by others (since killing/uprooting trees is a crime as per Mumbai law - although I am not sure if it gets implemented).

And if you are planning to do the above, once done, make sure the remaining roots are removed from the wall - this plant has a good track record of re-appearing.

Hope this helps.
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Old 18th July 2011, 15:38   #8
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Default Re: How to kill a Peepal Tree

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Originally Posted by pradipk View Post
May sound stupid, but what's problem cutting it? I mean just one fine day/night just cut the same.
Can only cut it till the stem. The roots are embedded in the walls on the first floor. It just keeps growing back. To rip the roots, pert of the wall upstairs will have to be ripped and plasttered.

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Originally Posted by manavdotcom View Post
On a hindsight, Cutting or doing anything to peepal tree is considered highly inauspicious with impact transversing several generations.Google it to learn more.Usually in such cases, the tree is shifted to a nearby temple or open ground, may be that's possible during infancy.Whatever action you take, think on these lines as well.
Dude If I die of an electric shock, there will not be any future generations. But thanks anyway for your concern.
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Old 18th July 2011, 15:49   #9
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Default Re: How to kill a Peepal Tree

Your problem is very real. However the beliefs of the hindus are such that no one will cut a peepal tree. No point in elaborating on this, but such are the beliefs of a vast number hindus including me.

Further in Delhi, where I live, causing damage to a tree ( any tree) results in prosecution. I do not know what the law is in Mumbai.

So the solution for you is to take pictures of the damage to your property and file a complaint with the civic body. Since you have already done that and received no relief , file a petition under the RTI act asking for information on the action taken/proposed to be taken with respect to your complaint. It should get the file moving. If you do not get any relief even then, the only hope for you is to seek judicial relief.

If you take unilateral action as you seem to be thinking and your neighbors with whom you are not on the best of terms, file a case of hurting their religious sentiments it will be a needless complication. If the problem is getting out of control , then cut the tree and prior to doing that intimate the local S.H.O. that there is a risk of severe building damage resulting in possible loss of life and hence the tree needs to be cut and you anticipate that your neighbors will create problems, so you are intimating the authorities beforehand.

Last edited by RS_DEL : 18th July 2011 at 15:54.
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Old 18th July 2011, 15:51   #10
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Default Re: How to kill a Peepal Tree

Since it seems a potential threat to you am suggesting the following.
It is not environmentally friendly but will kill the tree!

Be extremely careful doing this!

Break open a thermometer. Carefully get the mercury out in a syringe. Inject it at the base of the tree. It will start to die in about a couple of weeks.

Cheers!
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Old 18th July 2011, 15:57   #11
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Default Re: How to kill a Peepal Tree

Yup, was about the suggest the same - the mercury idea. You can buy some from any scientific supply shop. It will kill the tree.

My apologies but in this case, I feel there is no space for religious sentiments. I love trees and would hate to watch any tree cut down but I guess in this case, it is a hazard that has to be taken care of.
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Old 18th July 2011, 16:05   #12
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Default Re: How to kill a Peepal Tree

Pretend that you got an electric shock and cause a small commotion in the society. Call an electrician (the ones certified by the electricity board) and get a report that the shock issue cant be fixed without removing the tree. Go to the police station and ask for protection

Another option is to offer uprooting & moving the tree to a nearby ground or something. If you don't cut the tree, no one can complain of hurting the religious sentiment.

It is really sad that in our country, a person life is less valuable than some superstitious belief.
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Old 18th July 2011, 16:05   #13
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Default Re: How to kill a Peepal Tree

Quote:
Originally Posted by RS_DEL View Post
If you take unilateral action as you seem to be thinking and your neighbors with whom you are not on the best of terms, file a case of hurting their religious sentiments it will be a needless complication. If the problem is getting out of control , then cut the tree and prior to doing that intimate the local S.H.O. that there is a risk of severe building damage resulting in possible loss of life and hence the tree needs to be cut and you anticipate that your neighbors will create problems, so you are intimating the authorities beforehand.
Cutting the tree will cause damage to the structure. I just want it to die so that it doesn't spread any further and cause damage. What's S.H.O.?

Quote:
Originally Posted by volkman10 View Post
Since it seems a potential threat to you am suggesting the following.
It is not environmentally friendly but will kill the tree!

Be extremely careful doing this!

Break open a thermometer. Carefully get the mercury out in a syringe. Inject it at the base of the tree. It will start to die in about a couple of weeks.

Cheers!
Volkman I'm looking for a short and simple solution like this. However would the mercury eventually find it's way into the water supply or soil around the house? It's highly toxic and I wouldn't want to do anything irresponsible that would cause hamr to other trees or people in the area. Is it possible that the mercury will end up somewhere else after killing the tree?
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Old 18th July 2011, 16:08   #14
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Default Re: How to kill a Peepal Tree

I guess you should consult some specialist in doing so, maybe by limiting the dosage and subsequent disposal of the tree, the damage could be contained.

Cheers!
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Old 18th July 2011, 16:15   #15
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Default Re: How to kill a Peepal Tree

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfheart View Post
Cutting the tree will cause damage to the structure. in the area. Is it possible that the mercury will end up somewhere else after killing the tree?
S.H.O= Station House Officer -> the officer incharge of the local police station.

Any chemical substance that you use runs the risk of causing further damage.

Even though my beliefs are the same as that of any superstitious person , safety of life of human beings is paramount. The cleanest solution is the removal of the tree in it's entirety. To do so, you will most likely need to involve the law as your neighbors are not amenable to reason.
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