Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Typhoon-proofing the Bangkal Trees

Last month I got to see the Boracay bangkal trees in flower. They were not very spectacular but definitely very interesting. The bloom clusters of bangkal are different from the usual inflorescence of any other flowering tree. I posted on a previous blog some pictures of bangkal flower. They really look like space orbs. So to see trees full of them was like looking at odd Christmas trees with the weird almost white fuzzy balls.

The establshments over at long white beach are flanked by a lot of bangkal trees, or Nauclea orientalis. They thrive in the marshy coastal areas of Station 1. In the Lion's Den, there are a handful of very large trees. When I stayed there the end of May, all of them were in bloom. The dark green leaves were strongly contrasted by the strange blooms.

Last week I returned to find the bangkal trees in Lion's Den greatly being dismembered. The owner hired a few natives to bravely climb the old towering trees and cut a generous number of the mature branches. The flowers look ever weirder now , scattered on the ground. People passing by can't help but stop and wonder what the strange things were. They thought they were fruits rather than flowers.

Though I was saddened to see the tree limbs falling one after the other, it was necessary to prepare the tree through typhoon season in the islands. A top heavy tree might not have the chance against the strength of open winds. Though it is for the safety of people residing in the area, it was also needed to make sure that the age old trees would be preserved, still standing after the numerous typhoons predicted to hit Boracay.

1 comment:

Wayfarer on the sidestreet said...

i grew up with this tree. beautiful. our house was once marked by this tree until the area was razed by fire. the tree too was consumed by fire.