A 150-year-old black berry (duhat) tree which was renamed “Katipunan Tree” in 1980 to perpetuate the memory of Andres Bonifacio, the katipuneros and Melchora Aquino is undergoing rehabilitation.
The tree is in the compound of the 67-year-old Metro Manila College (MMC), formerly the Novaliches Academy in Brgy. Kaligayahan, Novaliches in Quezon City.
Natividad Villano, MMC Human Resources supervisor, said all decaying parts of the tree will be treated to prolong its life. The tree “treatment” is being undertaken by a team led by Marcelina Pacho, Science Research Specialist II of Eco Systems Research and Development Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
“Since we believe that preservation of this historical tree is very vital, we sought the DENR’s assistance to help us in treating its decaying parts to ensure that it can still withstand strong typhoons or bad weather,” Villano explained.
Pacho said the treatment will include the extraction of decaying parts and the microorganisms that attack them by applying fungicides and to strengthen the tree.
A corrugated steel bar will also be placed inside the tree so that it will be strong enough to withstand strong winds. The tree continues to bear fruits.
The last time the tree was treated was in 1977.
Experts claim that the site where the tree stands was once a wooded hill which was a staging area of the Katipuneros during the Philippine Revolution.
“Under this tree, the Katipuneros held meetings, treated their wounded. Andres Bonifacio, founder of Katipunan was here on several occasions,” a marker near the tree reads.