Three dead branches of the sacred Bodhi tree at the Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya, Bihar were pruned by a team of scientists of the Dehradun-based Forest Research Institute to keep the tree healthy, official sources close to the temple said on Wednesday.
"We have chopped the branches that were dead and hallow to keep the Bodhi tree healthy and free from any disease," Dr Subhash Nautiyal, one of the two plant physiologists from FRI told rediff.com.
Nautiyal said the decision to prune the branches was taken after a study on how to preserve and keep it healthy. "Pruning of branches was necessary to protect other healthy branches," he said.
Another FRI scientist, N S Harsh said that they had applied tree guard paste on the new cut point and sprayed micro nutrition solution on the tree.
The FRI scientists have also suggested some fresh measures for healthy growth of the tree, considered to be about 150 to 200 years old.
The FRI has been given the responsibility of maintaining the sacred Bodhi tree by the state government after the tree was hit by disease and a branch of the tree was chopped off allegedly by some officials of the temple management committee.
The Bodhi tree is considered sacred by millions of Buddhists across the world, as it is believed that Lord Buddha attained enlightenment under it about 2,550 years ago.