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Prosopis juliflora, is a thorny shrub that grows to a height up to 12 metres. These thorny shrubs are often multi-stemmed and have large and sharp thorns measuring up to 5 cm. They are deeply rooted as their roots can grow to a great depth of 53 metres in search of water. These small trees are widely found in Africa, Asia and Australia.

In recent times, these trees are regarded invasive as they cause enormous damage to the environment and inhibits the growth of indigenous plants. A study shows that these plant shrubs promotes the transmission of malaria parasites, especially during dry seasons as sugar sources from native plants are unavailable for the mosquitoes.

The dispersal of this species is mainly due to animals. Thus their seeds end up in agricultural land areas, lakes, rivers and damns aiding the wide spread growth of P. juliflora. With their long tentacles like roots, they consume excessive ground water thus making the land barren.

Researches shows that an injury from the thorn of this species would not heal easily even with given medical supervision and using their wood in a fireplace could also cause dermatitis. Also, the cattle that may consume their seeds end up with ingestion or permanent impairment of the ability to digest glucose as it contains high levels of sugar thus finally killing the animal.

Due to these factors, even the government bodies are trying to properly remove these trees from its roots thus completely inhibiting its spread and saving the environment. Cutting down these invasive trees is the best solution to control the spread of malaria causing mosquitoes and help conserve ground water for agriculture and irrigation purposes. Let us do our part by removing these trees which are bad for the environment.

Earthworm – A farmer’s friend

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