Ecosystem of Trees at Aarey

Ecosystem of Trees at Aarey

The author of this note is an award-winning social scientist, naturalist and an educator in the area of sustainable development and climate change. She has studied Botany and Taxonomy with late Dr. M. Almeida and other prominent faculty with several field visits to various forest types and obtained her certificates. The author has presented and published several Social Science research papers. 

A Compilation and Thoughts on The Plants Ecosystem of The Moist Deciduous Forest of Aarey Area Demarcated for The Metro Car Shed.

Ecology is the study of the relationships of organisms and their environment. The environment of each habitat is determined by both living and non-living factors. Biotics factors are the living factors that include all the other organisms in the habitat with which the organism interacts.

For example, in the Aarey forest if we consider the major species of the moist deciduous forest found in large number at the car shed site like Bombax Ceiba -katesavar (357) in number, the tree interacts with biotic factors like the birds and insects, with other trees around for pollination, the fungi and other organisms that are associated with its roots. The nonliving or the abiotic factors in the environment include sunlight, wind, rain, rocks, soil type, temperature, concentration of oxygen, and other gases to which the tree will be exposed during its lifetime. 

Living organisms interacting with one another and with factors of the nonliving environment constitute an ecosystem. 

The Forest Type: The forest in Mumbai is of moist mixed deciduous type forest. In Moist deciduous forests trees and shrubs shed their leaves in winter. Trees like katesavar-Bombax ceiba (Red silk cotton tree), Asan Bridelia retusa, Dhawda, Anogeissus latifolia, and other species shed their leaves with varying duration. Summer sees some plants flowering and fruiting. Monsoon transforms the forest in its very first showers. Herbs and wild flowers of various hues and colours sprout and fade away only to be replaced by more fascinating ones. The forest comes alive and the streams provide rich marine life. Some evergreen forest tree species like Morinda tinctoria and Trema orientalis and so on, are also seen and so are some species from the dry deciduous type. 

The following four species are between 350 to 550 at the site

katesavar- Bombax ceiba
katesavar- Bombax ceiba

katesavar- Bombax ceiba (357) It is one of the main species of the deciduous moist forest. It’s a large tree with ashy bark with trunk having conical prickles. Often found near streams and in combination with other deciduous trees around it. The tree starts flowering in early winter, almost leafless, and is a beautiful sight to behold with its umbrella like branching blooming with large red wavy flowers. The flowers are bird pollinated. Sunbirds and other forest birds are attracted to the waxy flowers and need to be there in plenty for these trees to have thrived in such large numbers. The nectar of the flowers attracts large number of butterflies, bees and insects, besides langur and squirrels. The fruit pods have white silky cotton used for stuffing pillows. The red silk cotton bug feeds on the fiber. Bark spines have medicinal use and so does the wood and overall the tree reduces air pollution. This also provides the much-needed Vitamin ‘N’, N for nature to all.

Shemat – Lannea coromandelica

Shemat – Lannea coromandelica (445) Dr Almeida (Vol I, 1996:289) states it’s a large tree of 10-45 m high; trunk thick; bark ash colored, smooth and exfoliating.  

This tree is common in deciduous forests throughout India. The tree can be identified by its red blaze and imparipinnate leaves that turn yellow before falling off. 

The bark exudes a gum when cut or from cracks. The flowers are purplish and unisexual. The male flowers are fascicled in compound racemes, while the female flowers are borne in simple racemes. Fruit is a drupe and the wood are used for calico printing dyeing silks and wool. The leaves are used as fodder. 

The fruits are eaten by squirrels and birds. Krishen (2013:299) describes the beauty of the “flowers (only 3mm wide) are clustered along slender axes, many of which spring together like sparklers from the butt-ends of the twigs”  

Dhaman-Grewia Tiliaefolia

Dhaman-Grewia Tiliaefolia (502) This tree can be identified by its large, ovate leaves with olique base.  The leaves are shed in winter and new leaves have a beautiful red tinge and stipules at the base of the leaf stalks. Flowers which appear in April- May are borne on thick ancillary peduncles. Fruits are fleshy, rounded and black usually bilobed but occasionally four-lobed. 
The edible berries have medicinal properties. It is the foodplant of Marumba hawkmoth. It has variable bark. Its timber is ornamental and used for light construction work, Bhat et al (2003:160). 

According to Almeida (Vol I-1996:289) it is large tree 10-45m high; bark ash covered, smooth, exfoliating; young parts more or less stellate puberulous. 

Subabul – Leucaena leucocephala (553) Almeida (Vol II, 1998:219) mentions lead tree and horse tamarind as other common names by which it is known. Leaves 2-pinnate, 8-17 cm long; flowers in dense globose heads; peduncles often germinate.                                                                 

Some nitrogen from the air is fixed by the nitrogen-fixing bacteria found in legumes and other plants. These root nodules that are popcorn like contain bacteria that convert nitrogen from the air into forms like ammonia or other nitrogenous compounds that can be used by the plant. These organisms generally gain access to various plants particularly leguminous plants like peas and beans, In the nitrogen cycle, there is a constant flow of nitrogen from dead plant and animal tissues into the soil and from the soil back to the plants, Stern (2006:442). Plants like Subabul leucocephala belonging to Leguminosae family help in this cycle. Subabul is one of the nitrogen-fixing, fast-growing species, (Bhatt et al, 2003). 

(The claim made by the officials that this is a useless species is false. SGNP too has this species besides it is the forest department that plants these species further proving the point that this area is indeed a forest).     

Krishen, (2006:291) states that Subabul was “once touted a miracle green manure and fodder tree, its reputation has slipped somewhat..”.   

Asana- Bridelia retusa

Asana- Bridelia retusa (146) The three is common in mixed deciduous forests throughout India, Bhat et al (2003:89). The tree can be identified by its pointed and strong spines on its young bark and grows into dark brown bark, fissured and with scales lifting off. Asan’s tiny flowers are small, pale green in tight clusters on leafless twigs. The flowers are visited by hordes of butterflies and one can often see a number of green pigeons and even hornbills are drawn to their favourite food making this tree a biodiversity hub. The leaves make good fodder. The bark is astringent and is used as a tanning agent. Krishen (2013:87) mentions that Asan flowers are a great butterfly forage and he has counted 14 different species visiting the flowers at one time.   

Australian Acacia – Acacia Auriculiformis

Australian Acacia – Acacia Auriculiformis (169) -Acacia auriculiformis, Almeida (Vol II,1998:198), describes it as a medium size unarmed evergreen tree. Phylloda curved, flattened semi lunate or sickle shaped, 10-15cm long, coriaceous, parallel nerved, tapering at the ends. Flowers yellow in cylindrical lax spikes, in pairs or rarely solitary. Spike up to 7 cm long. Calyx 1 mm long. Corolla 2 mm long. Pods moniliform, brown, coiled at maturity, dehiscent.

Flowers October-December. The picture shows An Acacia petiole turning to phyllode.

Distribution: Extensively cultivated all over as a social forestry tree of  energy plantations. 

Further according to Krishen (2006:82) leaves are actually modified appendages, leatherly than leaves, usually curved, with 3 arching nerves. Phyllodes have arching parallel veins, very different from the net-branching of most leaves. There is a gland at the base of each phyllode. 

Rain tree- Samanea saman (169) It is a large handsome tree with a spreading crown, It is an evergreen tree with beautiful flowers which appear as large clustered panicles at the ends of the branches and look like silken tufts. The fruits are fleshy pods much liked by squirrels and also eaten by cattle and horses. 
Interesting aspect is that the name rain tree is derived because of the presence of moisture on the ground under the tree, which is due to the discharge of cicadas feeding on the leaves.
The leaves which are pinnate, long and heavy and they too have an interesting behavior. In full sunshine they spread horizontally to protect themselves from sunshine whereas at night, and during dull or rainy weather they fold and lie sideways.     

Vavla- Holoptelea integrifolia

Vavla- Holoptelea integrifolia (Roxb) 153 Almeida (2003, Vol IV:395) describes the tree as large spreading glabrous, deciduous tree, 15 to 20 m high; bark grey, pustular. Flowers usually male and hermaphrodite mixed, in short racemes or fascicles at the scars of fallen leaves. Leaves shed in Feb -march and remains completely leafless till end of April. Flowers appear on bare branches in February. Fruits follow and are produced in huge quantity, initially green in colour turning brown in April -May. The fruits have their own charm, brown samaras with biscuit brown papery wings. Large Vavla trees are often buttressed at the bases.    

The following tree species are between 26 to 100 

Aam- Mangifera indica (82) It is an evergreen tree with 10-45 m high. The most sought-after fruit in Maharashtra and Mumbai, the mango is called the king of the Indian fruits. The tree has a stout bole covered by thick rough and dark grey bark. The bark flakes off into small pieces in old trees. The linear, oblong or lanceolate leaves grow on spreading branches to form a dome shaped thick crown. When mango leaves are crushed, they give an aromatic odour due to the presence of fragrant resin, Almeida & Chaturvedi (206:123). 

The flowers grow in large bunches or panicles with each having around 300 flowers, the flowers bloom generally from December to January but some trees flower at different times of the year and they are called Baramasi. The author of this note has seen such trees at Aarey road.   

The flowers attract bats and a variety of insects that feed on its nectar. The fruits are called drupes, a fleshy fruit with a large stone in the middle.  

In the literature of India, mango tree seems to be the most celebrated. It has been referred to as the wish granting tree, Indian art and sculpture have left magnificent representation of the tree. The mango tree acts as a support for numerous orchids, such as vanda, Acampe, etc. which do no harm to the mango tree and deck up an otherwise somber tree with glorious flowers during the hot season of the year, Santapau (1999:62).

Apta-Bauhinia racemose (26) A small crooked tree with dark scabrous bark; branches numerous, drooping leaves broader than long, 2-5 by 2.5-6 cm, divided a little less than ½ way down into 2 rounded lobes, green and glabrous above, white and more tomentose beneath Almeida (1998, Vol II: 169). It is popularly called ‘camel’s foot’ because of the shape.  Flowers are short, white and pods woody, upto 30cm long. This tree is found in mixed deciduous forests across regions whether there is less rainfall or normal and different types of soil.

Bokar- Cordia dichotoma

Bokar- Cordia dichotoma (48) A moderate sized tree deciduous tree reaching 15 m in height, bark dark coloured, rough, fissured, Almeida (Vol III: 294). Flowers are white, flowers have backward curving petals. Polygamous. Drupe is ovoid with glabrous calyx. 

According to Krishen (2013:117), Saucer shaped calyx persists in the fruit which contains an extremely sticky, viscid pulp used as a bird-lime. Part of the ripe fruit is used in traditional systems of medicine.  

Bor-Zizyphus mauritiana

Bor-Zizyphus mauritiana (44) According to Bhat et al (2003:309) it is semi-deciduous tree, more often a shrub about 3-6 m high.  According to Krishen, (2013:228) Bor is a small to middle sized tree with a short bole and densely knit canopy of spiny branches forming a round crown or sometimes spreading sideways. It has been cultivated for its fruit in India since centuries. 

The stalked flowers are grown in clusters from leaf axils, it has light fragrance which attract bees, lots of insects, birds and humans. Fruit is round or oblong ripening yellow or orange brown. It is cultivated for its fruit which is high in vitamin C. The leaves make a nutritious fodder for goats and cattle and are fed to silkworms. Bor is a host tree for the lac insect.     

Charcoal Tree – Trema orientalis

Charcoal Tree – Trema orientalis (71) It is an evergreen tree in moist conditions. Almeida (Vol 4 B :396) states it is a fast growing, short lived tree 8-10 m high. Leaves are obliquely ovate According to Krishen (2013:254) it can grow surprisingly large for a short live tree, occasionally growing more than 14m tall. 

Flowers are tiny, greenish and clusters, male and female separate but on the same tree. Fruit is drupe, 4mm in diameter, black when ripe. 
Timber is soft and used for making paper pulp and charcoal. The leaves are used as fodder.   


Gulmohur – Delonix regia (26) This is one of the showiest trees in Mumbai and a delight for most Mumbaikars to see the blooms in the hot summers just before monsoon sets in. According to Santapau (1999:34) Delonix means “with a clear claw or nails”, with reference to the shape of the petals, particularly of the larger or the fifth petal. Gul means rose or flower, Mor is the common name for the peacock. There are records that about 1850 the tree was growing in Bombay. It is a deciduous tree, 5 -12 m tall, with grey to pale brown bark. Leaflets are in 12-30 pairs and light green, 8 -10 mm long. Fruit is large pod, turning from green to deep brown.

Kahandol- Sterculia urens-(84)

Kahandol- Sterculia urens-(84)
Kahandol- Sterculia urens-(84)

This unique tree is often called the ghost tree since its white bark stands out and appears as a ghost in a dark forest. Almeida (VIlI:147) describes it as a tall tree; young parts more or less pubescent; trunk erect; straight, bark white smooth and papery., the outer surface is thin peeling off and the inner coat fibrous and netted. Leaves are shallowly palmately lobed, velvety beneath. Flowers are numerous, hermaphrodite, in panicles. Monkeys are very fond of the boat shaped fruits which humans find very difficult to handle leading to itchiness of the skin.  

Krishen (2013:269) mentions the uses as a source of gum karaya which is used in the pharmaceutical as a laxative and tablet binder, coating agent, obstetrical lubricant and a fixative for dentures. Also used in the ice-cream industry as emulsifier, stabilizer and thickener.  

Kakad-Garuga pinnata

Kakad-Garuga pinnata (87) A deciduous tree which can grow quite large in some regions. The bark is furrowed, the outer layers peeling off in flakes, leaves15 -45 cm long with serrated margins, leaflets 6-10 pairs and an odd one. Almeida (Vol I: 221). The new leaves are intensely velvety and hairy. Fruits is spherical, turning black when ripe and edible. In the forest one generally can see the galls on the leaves.    

It is the food plant of Taser silk moth  

Kala umber-Ficus hispida

Kala umber-Ficus hispida (32) This is an evergreen tree in moist conditions. According to Almeida (Vol 4B: 368) This is a shrub or small tree, all parts more or less hispid, pubescent. Figs grow in abundance on leafless trailing branches. Sometimes these branches burrow into the ground like runners, Krishen (2013:209). The figs are edible when young and seeds and bark are purgative and emetic. 

Fig bearing branches arise from the main trunk and lower branches. One can see raised horizontal lines on the trunk. Male flowers are numerous near the apex of the receptacle containing galls. The leaves are used as cattle fodder and browsed by deer. 

 Karanj- Pongamia pinnata

 Karanj- Pongamia pinnata (L) Pierre (74) This is an evergreen tree. Almeida (Vol II, 1998:57) mentions it as a tree 15 to 20 m, branches spreading, glabrous, bark soft, greyish green, Leaves 10-20 cm long.  

This is a good indicator of water body, (Shahani, 1998: 98) also states its distribution is near sandy beds of streams and on the sea coast of western ghats, Andamans, Nicobars, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

Santapau (1999:91) states that the it is common along river banks and deep forest and has seen, and measured trees over 30 M. high. 

Kharoti-Streblus asper (85) It is a small rigid gnarled tree with grey bark and numerous interwoven pubescent branchlets, Almeida (Vol 4B: 382). The leaves are variable from elliptic or rhomboid to acute or acuminate, margins are irregularly toothed. Flowers are dioecious. The fruit is pisiform, with persistant perianth and edible.

Nariyal- Pterygota alata (49) This tree is popularly called Buddha’s coconut. It is a large deciduous tree.Trunk straight, bark smooth ash coloured, young parts are covered with dense golden stellate pubescence, Almeida (Vol I :144). Leaves are very large glossy and smooth with a heart shaped base and pointed apex. Leaves are crowded at the end of the branches, falling before the flowers appear. Flowers are bell shaped with no petals, male and female flowers separate but found on the same tree.

Petari –Trewia nudiflora

Petari –Trewia nudiflora (64) This is a large deciduous tree, bark smooth, grey and wood is white, Almeida (Vol :4B: 354). Leaves are opposite, ovate, and bright green. Flowers are dioecious.Seeds are rounded slightly angular smooth and polished, dark brown in colour. “Nicholson et al. (1988) attribute underground water indicator properties to this species.”  

Sonmohar- Peltophorum Pterocarpus (64) This is a medium-sized evergreen tree; young branches are rusty -brown. Lowers are bright yellow and commonly seen in the city too. Leaflets 6-17 pairs. Adds colour to the Mumbai summers.

Vilayati chinch – Pithecellobium dulce

Vilayati chinch – Pithecellobium dulce (52) This is an evergreen tree, also popularly called jungle jalebi 4-15 m tall armed with spinescent stipules, Almeida (Vol 2: 223). Flowers in head are arranged in paniculate racemes, tiny green in colour.

According to Krishen (2006: 282) fruit pods are about one cm wide, slightly flattened, becoming tightly coiled as they elongate. The pods are pinched between the seeds. The initial colour is green and turns to red or pink and then reddish-brown. After splitting open the tiny, shiny black seeds hang from red threads (the stalks of the ovules) before falling.   

The leaves and pods are excellent animal fodder.

The following trees are between 11 to 25 at the site.

Bartondi –Morinda pubescens

Bartondi –Morinda pubescens (12) A small evergreen tree grows up to 10 m high. It is a pleasure to see the pure white flowers in the heat of summers in Mumbai. Leaves are elliptic, oblong, lanceolate. Flowers are pure white in globose heads but the extract from the flower gives a red dye. The fruits are most admired by young people in a particular due to its shape resembling a football. Fruits are coherent drupes, aggregated in a globose body with mouth like projections on the outer surface, this is why it is also called Bartondi. The fruits are used in Ayurvedic medicine. 

Desi Badam- Terminalia catappa (13) A medium-sized deciduous tree reaching up to 20m high. It often develops buttressed roots when grown to full size. It has horizontal and whorled branches which is one of the identification features. The leaves turn deep red in winter before falling off. They are large, alternately arranged at the ends of the branches. Flowers are star-shaped and white in slender racemes. The fruits are fleshy, yellow or reddish-yellow and ellipsoidal in shape. The seeds are edible, Bhat et al (2003:281). 

Jambul- Syzygium cumini (20)
Jambul- Syzygium cumini (20)

Jambul- Syzygium cumini (20) A moderate-sized evergreen tree with thick bark and hard woody trunk. It is one of the popular fruits which is bluish black, although it stains the mouth. The fruits are also used for making jams, jellies and squashes. The fruits are known to lower blood sugar and used in treatment of diabetes. Jamun fruit is sought after by jackals, bears, and lots of frugivorous jungle creatures. Flowers are small white and look like sparklers with a yellow in the center of the white styles.

Karvat- Ficus asperrima (12) This tree’s accepted name is Ficus exasperata vahl., synonym is Ficus asperrima. It is also known as the sand paper fig.

Kumbh-Careya arborea (22) A glabrous middle-sized tree, sometimes large attaining 20 m height.  It has a rounded head, thick and rough bark. Leaves are broadly ovate, flowers are yellowish white, resembling powder puffs. The leaves look beautiful at different stages as they change colours. The new leaves are yellow -brown before they turn green. The turn scarlet before shedding in winter. Fruit is 6-8 cm in diameter, globular, green like an apple in appearance. The fruit is edible and eaten by forest creatures.

Moha-madhuca indica

Moha-madhuca indica (21)   A deciduous tree reaching 10- 15 m high; bark thick, dark coloured, cracked. The inner bark is red, milky and trunk is short, branches spread and form a shay head. 

Leaves are clustered near the end of the branches. Flowers are in dense fascicles near the end of the branches, creamish coloured. Berries are 2.5 -5cm long, fleshy, ovoid-shaped and greenish. The Moha trees are very important for tribal people and there is a lot of competition from other creatures of the forest.  The flowers are eaten raw or after sun-dried.

Pimpal –Ficus religiosa (12) A medium to large sized deciduous tree with a straight trunk and spreading branches which gives it an umbrella like appearance. The leaves are distinct with long stalks and narrow pointed tips, broad, heart shaped with smooth shining underside and narrow pointed apex.  Almeida & Chaturvedi (2006:59) The figs are green round and turn purple when ripe. The flowers are pollinated by fig wasps. The fig is a composite fruit, with a large number of smaller fruits. A lot of fruit eating birds and squirrels devour these figs. The leaves are good fodder for elephants and cattle.

This is a very important religious tree in India.  A lot of art and painting on dried leaf too is done by artists and others.   

Shivan –Gmelina arborea (20) A moderate, unarmed deciduous tree. It reaches 20 m height, bark greyish yellow, corky, branchlets are clothed with white mealy pubescence Almeida (Vol 4A: 121) Leaves are broadly ovate, acuminate, entire glabrous when mature.  The young sapling leaf looks quite different from the mature leaf. Flowers appear with leaves or sometimes before the young leaves. 

Drupes 2-2.5 cm long, ovoid or pyriform, smooth orange yellow when ripe. According to Krishen (2013: 157) Shivan is best known for its excellent timber. The leaves are good for rearing silk worms. The fruit is used by tribals for medicinal purposes.

Tad- Borassus flabellifer (14) The trunk of the tree attains 35 m height. Flowers are dioecious, Spadix very large, simply branched, sheathed with numerous imbricating bracts. Female flowers are large, globose. Fruit a large sub-globose brown drupe. According to Shahani (1998: 182), The leaves resemble fan shape. Vast quantities of toddy are drawn from groves of the Toddy’s palm. Sugar and jaggery have been made from it since 4000 years. Fruits are edible and fibre and cordage are obtained from many parts of the palm. Fresh sap is used as vinegar. In Ancient India leaves were used as writing material, the parallel veins served as ruled notebooks.

Umber- Ficus racemosa

Umber- Ficus racemosa (18) This is again an evergreen tree which can grow to more than 20 m. According to Almeida (Vol 4B:372) It’s pale bark and figs growing in branching clusters directly from the trunk are used for its identification. The most interesting interrelationship of creatures in nature is exhibited by the figs and wasps of this tree. Figs are orange, pink and reddish when ripe.Animals and birds relish the figs. The tree is of importance for most tribal communities.  

Vaivarna – Crataeva religiosa (15) This is a small to medium sized tree. Leaves are trifoliate and inflorescence is in lax clusters. Petals have a long claw. Fruit is woody and ellipsoid. According to Shahani (1998: 25) Vaivarna belongs to a class of plants called gynophorous plants, which means that it bears its ovary at the end of a long slender stalk. When the petals fall the thread -like gynophore remains. It thickens and bears the fruits. Planted near temples and tombs as it is considered sacred. Wood is used for making drums, toys and in planking.

There are 45 Species of trees whose number at the car shed site is less than 10.

The rich diversity and importance of the trees as listed in the lists below shows the importance of the forest. The Tetu tree has the longest compound leaf, Gunj has history of being used to weigh, they are also known as circadian seeds. Kadamb and kaim both have interesting stories and personality. Gorakh chinch, the Baobab tree is one of the oldest living deciduous trees in the world, trunk stores up water and is called upside -down tree due to its shape. Below are just a minor sample of the diversity.   

A Warli hamlet (‘pada’ or ‘wadi’)

The indigenous community at Aarey and the largest group comprising of Warlis are known for their living in harmony with nature. Their  livelihood is integrated in the ecosystem. The Warli are one of the major tribes of western Maharashtra. According to Thane district gazetteer the Warlis have three divisions within the tribe with various norms. The house of an average Warli family is often a square or rectangular single room structure on earth foundation with a partition inside dividing the area into two compartments. The walls of the hut are made of Karvi sticks on which clay and cow dung are smeared. The roof is sloping and has grass or tiles. However, some may have larger houses with three to four rooms. 

The indigenous community at Aarey and the largest group comprising of Warlis are known for their living in harmony with nature. Their  livelihood is integrated in the ecosystem. The Warli are one of the major tribes of western Maharashtra. According to Thane district gazetteer the Warlis have three divisions within the tribe with various norms. The house of an average Warli family is often a square or rectangular single room structure on earth foundation with a partition inside dividing the area into two compartments. The walls of the hut are made of Karvi sticks on which clay and cow dung are smeared. The roof is sloping and has grass or tiles. However, some may have larger houses with three to four rooms. 

A Warli hamlet is called a ‘pada’ or ‘wadi’. Every hamlet will generally consist of 10 to 200 houses.  Warli life is full of Warli art and have well laid out paintings to be made at  different occasions. Their love for music is seen in their wind musical instrument, the Tarpa which they make themselves. Warlis have survived for centuries in harmony with nature, and without harming anyone. It is this way of life in the padas inside the forest which will be totally disrupted by the car shed. The indigenous people have a right to their livelihood, way of life and the forest. 

The generally non-political and non-agitative population of the city of Mumbai, young and old, across all sections, classes and professions have come out strongly for saving Aarey, the lungs of Mumbai. Through rains and floods, and hectic schedules Mumbaikars have sacrificed their holidays and time to come out with kids to save Aarey. This is the sign of evolution, a citizenry that considers intangible but precious nature as more important than mere economics, the social and psychological need for green spaces and forest which really cannot be counted, its benefits are way beyond numbers. The conscientious citizens of Mumbai hope the judgement considers this more important than the age-old destruction of environment for infrastructure approach of contemptuous officials. This can be a landmark moment in our civilizational history. 

The breakup of Tree species and their numbers as per the tree list of MMRCL in the proposed metro car shed area at Aarey.

Name of Tree  
350To550  Name of tree  100To200Name of Tree 
26 To100Name of Tree  11To25

Katesavar              Bombax ceiba


Bridelia retusa


Mangifera indica


Morinda pubescens


Lannea coromandelica


Australian              Acacia 
Acacia Auriculiformis        


Bauhinia racemosa  


Desi Badam    
Terminalia catappa




Rain tree                 
Samanea saman 


Cordia dichotoma


Syzygium cumini


Leucaena leucocephala


Holoptelia integrifolia


Ziziphus mauritiania


Ficus asperrima


Charcoal tree   
Trema orientalis


Deloxis regia 


Careya arborea




Madhuca indica 


Garuga pinnata

Ficus religiosa


Kala umber       
Ficus hispida

Shivan           Gmelina arborea

Pongamia pinnata
Borassus flabellifer


Streblus asper
Wrightea arborea

Pterygota alata
Ficus racemosa

Trewia Nudiflora


Crataeva religiosa 


Peltophorum pterocarpum

Vilayati chinch 
Pithecellobium dulce

Total    1857+Total                                                      637+Total           
873        Total         198=


Tree species up to 10 at the car shed area of Aarey as per the MMRCL list of trees

Name of Tree Upto 10Name of TreeUpto10
Acacia mangium
Manilkara zapota
Cocos nucifera
10Singapore Cherry
Mutingia calabura
Polyalthia longifolia
Tamarindus indica
Butea monosperma 
Dalbergia latifolia
Tamilnadia uliginosa
Tectonia grandis
Acacia nilotica
Syzygium samarangens
Stereospermum tetragonum
Diospyros melanoxylon
Aegle Marmelos
Psidium guajava
Oroxylum indicum
Cassia fistula
Kadi patta
Murraya koenigii
Artocarpus heterophyllus
Ziziphus rugosa
Terminalia bellerica
Azadarichta indica
Ficus tsjakela
Morus alba
Thespesia populuea
Mitragyna parviflora
Ficus virens
Ficus benghalensis
Bherli Mad
Caroyata Urens
Anacardium occidental
Ficus amplissima
2 Safed Shirish
Albizia procera
Pterocarpus marsupium

Mallotus philippensis
Sterculia guttata
Moringa oleifera
Plumeria alba

Bauhinia variegata
Phoenix sylvestris
Acacia catechuoides
Gorakh chinchAdansonia digitata



Summary of the total number of tree species divided into five categories following the MMRCL trees list in the Aarey car shed area

Trees between 350 to 550Trees between 100 to 200Trees between26 to 100Trees between 11 to 25 Trees between Upto10Trees Dead or no IDTreesGrand Total
Number of Species     4
Number of species    4 Number of Species   15Number of species   12Number of Species   45Total no of Species    80
Total of 4 species
Total of 4 species
Total of 15 species
Total of 12 species
Total of 45 species
Total of Dead& No ID 33Total of all species


1.Almeida, M.                                                               &Chaturvedi, N.          2006The Trees of Mumbai. BNHS, Mumbai
2.Almeida, M.                              1996 to                          2009.Flora of Maharashtra Vol I-Vol V. Shreeji Enterprises for Blatter Herbarium, Mumbai.
3.Bhatt, M. et al,            2003      Nursery Manual for Forest Tree Species. IISc, Universities Press, Hyderabad.
4.Champion, H.G                &    Seth, S. K.         2005A Revised Survey of the Forest Types of India. Nataraj Publishers, Dehradun.           
5.Krishen, P.       2006  Trees of Delhi. DK, India.      
6.Krishen, P     2013Jungle Trees of Central India, A Field Guide for Tree Spotters. Penguin, New Delhi.
7.Louv, R.                  2011The Nature Principle, Human Restoration and the End of Nature- Deficit Disorder. Algonquin Books, New York. 
8.Louv, R.                  2016Vitamin N the Essential Guide to A Nature -Rich Life. Algonquin, New York.
9.Pereira, W.               2010The Sustainable Lifestyle of the Warlis. Earth care Books, Kolkata. 
10.Randhawa, M.    1983Flowering Trees. National Book Trust, New Delhi.
11.Santapau, H.   1999Common Trees. National Book Trust, New Delhi. 
12Shahani, K.                1998The Book of Indian Tress. Oxford University Press, BNHS, Mumbai.  
13.Stern, K.                2006Introduction to Plant Biology. McGraw-Hill’s.