Brihat Samitha 55-63
– 55 –
Treatment of Trees
1One should have gardens laid out on the banks of water, inasmuch as tanks and the like are not lovely without shade on their margins.
2A soft soil is favourable to all sorts of trees. One should first of all sow there sesamum, which must be crushed when in bloom. This is the first work to be done for the soil.
3The tree Arishta, Punnaga and Sirisha along with Priyangu creeper should first be planted in gardens as well as near houses for ensuring prosperity.
4-5In respect of jack tree, Asoka, plantain, Jambu, lemon, pomegranate, grape vine, Palivata, Matulanga (citron) and jasmine creeper, the grafting may be done by smearing a branch with cow-dung and transplanting it on the branch of another; or it may be done by cutting off the trunk of a tree and by transplanting it like a wedge on the trunk of another tree. (Here the part where the junction is affected must be covered with a coating of mud).
6The grafting should be done in season for those that have not yet got branches; for those that have grown branches; in the beginning of monsoon for those that have large branches. The particular direction of the cut off tree should be maintained in grafting also.
7Trees can be taken to other countries and there grafted on others, if they are smeared from root to
the stem with ghee, Andropogon, sesamum, honey, Vidanga, milk and cow-dung.
8One ought to be clean and worship a tree with ablutions and pastes, and then graft it. Then it will thrive even with the leaves with which it is grafted.
9The transplanted trees should be watered morning and evening in summer; on alternate days in cold season; and whenever the soil is dry during the rains.
10-11Jambu, Vetasa, Vanira, Kadamba, fig, Arjuna, Matulunga, grape vine, lemon, pomegranate, Vanjula, Naktamala, Tilaka, Jack, Timira and Amrataka, these sixteen trees grow in a moist soil.
12It is very good, if trees are planted 20 cubits apart; moderate, if 16 cubits apart; and inferior, if 12-cubits apart.
13Trees growing contiguously and touching one another with their roots interlocked are tortured and do not yield fruits in sufficient quantity.
14Trees get disease from cold blasts and hot Sun: their leaves become pale-white, sprouts become scanty and sickly, their branches become dry and their milk oozes out.
15Thereupon, the trees should be treated. At the outset, the trees should be cleared of ulcers and the like with a knife. Then a paste made of Vidanga, ghee and silt must be applied to those parts and they should be sprinkled with water and milk.
16When the fruits of a tree are destroyed, it should be watered with milk cooled after being boiled with horse-gram, black gram, green gram, sesamum and barley. Being so treated, it will have abundant flowers and fruits.
17-18For increasing the yield of flowers and fruits of trees, creepers and shrubs, they should be sprinkled always with a mixture of two Adhakas (128 Palas) of the powder of the dung of goats and sheep, one Adhaka of sesamum, a Prastha (16 Palas) of wheat particles, a Tula (100 Palas) of beef and a Drona (256 Palas) of water kept for seven nights.
19-20Any seed should be soaked in milk for ten days, taking it out daily with the hand smeared with ghee. Then it must be rolled many a time in cow dung, fumigated with the flesh of deer and hog; thereupon with flesh and hog’s marrow, it should be planted in a prepared soil (by sowing sesamum). Being sprinkled with milk and water, it will grow and bloom.
21Even a tamarind seed produces a sprout when sprinkled with a compound of the flour of rice, black Gram and sesamum and particles of wheat and stale meat and repeatedly fumigated with turmeric powder.
22-26For making the wood-apple seeds sprout, take the roots of Sarasaparilla, Amalaka, Dhava, Vasika, the branch with leaves of Vetasa, of Suryavalli, of Syama creeper, and of Atimukta (in all eight), boil them in milk, cool it, and then soak the seeds in this liquid for a period of time required for 100 beats. Then after removing and drying them in the Sun daily for 50 days, sow them. This is the method prescribed for it. Make a pit one cubit in diameter and twice as deep, fill it with milk and water; let the pit dry, burn it, and then smear it with a compound of honey, ghee and ashes. First fill it with mud to a height of four digits, then fill it with the powder of black gram, sesamum and barley; over this put mud to the same height again, and then once again fill it with the powder of black gram, etc., add to it an infusion of fish and water and then pound all this until it becomes a thick mass. Sow the seed at a depth of four digits and sprinkle it with fish-water and freshwater. Soon will a tendril with nice sprouts cover the pandal in an astonishing manner.
27-28Any seed being steeped a hundred times in a paste of Ankola fruit or in its oil, or in a paste or oil of Sleshmataka fruit, will, when planted in the earth, sprinkled with hail water sprout instantaneously, and what wonder that the branches should be loaded with fruit.
29-30A wise man ought to remove the shell of the Sleshmataka seeds, steep them, in shade, seven times in water mixed with a paste of Ankola fruits; and then rub them with buffalos dung and lay them in manure. Being planted thereafter in mud soaked with hail-water, they will produce fruit in a day.
31The asterisms prescribed by the Seers of transcendental wisdom for the planting of trees are the three Uttaras, Rohini, Anuradha, Chittra, Mrigasiras, Revati, Mula, Visakha, Pushya, Sravana, Aswini and Hasta.