Kerala's famous Marayoor sandalwood under deadly SSD threat; Minister orders to cut infected trees

Santalum album or the Indian sandalwood tree.

Idukki: Sandalwood in Kerala's famous Marayur forests is facing a serious threat from deadly Sandalwood Spike Disease (SSD) which leads to mortality of trees due to changes in the physiology of the species, the state government said here on Tuesday.

State Forest Minister A K Saseendran on Tuesday visited the Marayur Sandalwood Reserve in this hill district and directed the officials to take measures to prevent the spread of theD in the sandalwood for which no treatment is available. 

Cutting down the infected trees was the one and only option currently to contain the spread of the disease, which is the most destructive of known diseases to infect the sandalwood in the country, the minister told reporters here.

The government is reportedly planning to cut 2,000 trees infected by the disease to prevent its spread.

The minister, after holding a meeting with the Forest officials here, said the disease is spreading fast and it  could have been contained if the infected trees were cut in the last two years.

He said the spread of the disease can be arrested only if its source is identified.

Marayoor in the Western Ghats contains a number of sandalwood forests and it is known for its high-quality sandalwood in the country.

It is the only place in Kerala where natural sandalwood forest is present.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.