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Gajumaru Network formed to save tree

Date Posted: 2010-07-22

The symbol of Nago City is a natural monument called “Hinpun Gajumaru”, the given name to a very old banyan tree, but it’s in trouble.

The tree sustained typhoon damages in 2002 and is leaning to one side, worrying local residents who are afraid the tree may fall down.

A group of residents in Nago City established the ”Gajumaru Network” to conduct studies and determine the best way to prevent the tree from falling down, to raise funds for this project, and to seek support from the government of Nago City which will celebrate its 40th anniversary this year.

The Nago City municipal office maintenance crews cut some branches of this monument on 1st June to reduce its weight, but the tree is still in danger of falling down. “Right now we have two supports bracing the tree,” says Hayashi Kishimoto, a member of the Gajumaru Network, “ but I recommend having another one; otherwise the tree may still fall down.”

A few residents have suggested that in case it falls down, they use the tree’s roots as an artistic display at its location, but many citizens have objected and said “The roots alone would look like a construction site. We would feel lonely without the branches and green leaves of this tree. This tree is our symbol and life.”

The Gajumaru Network is calling for others to join in preserving the tree, saying “We need to protect this tree. It gives us power, history, and memory. We want as many people to join us to work together and protect this tree”. Information about the Gajumaru Network is available from Mr. Agarie at 090-5721-1726.

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