700-year-old banyan tree spanning three acres put on diluted pesticide drip in India

HYDERABAD - A 700-year-old banyan tree that spans three acres in the southern Indian state of Telangana has been put on a special drip filled with diluted pesticides to ward off a termite infestation.

Pipes have also been tied to the roots of the tree to prevent further spread of infection, the BBC reported.

The tree is reportedly the second-largest of its kind in the world, and is a popular tourist attraction.

"We have taken several measures like arranging cement plates near the branches to prevent the tree from falling," government official Panduranga Rao told the BBC, adding that fertilisers and manure were also being provided.

"We thought sending diluted insecticide into the affected parts drop-by-drop like a saline drip might help," another official told local media.

Access to the area has been restricted ever since the authorities started to notice branches crumbling in December last year.

Besides a heavy infestation of termites, tourists were also using the branches as swings, which caused them to bend, officials said.

Indian banyan trees are renowned for their great expanse and strong roots. They grow so large on account of roots that drop from their branches to form false trunks, which provide extra support to the tree.