Saturday, May 26, 2007

Work to salvage trees begins

Work to salvage trees begins

Staff Reporter

This is to save them from being cut for infrastructure projects

# It is undertaken jointly by three agencies
# A Chennai-based firm is providing expertise for the task

LAUDABLE EFFORT: (Top) Workers dig the ground around a tree on M.G. Road promenade as part of the exercise to salvage it. (Below) A pit is being dug for the transplantation on Field Marshal Cariappa Parade Ground, on Friday. — Photo: V. Sreeni vasa Murthy

BANGALORE: In the first concerted effort in the city to save trees being felled for infrastructure projects, work began on Friday to salvage 10 well-grown trees on the M.G. Road promenade. They will be transplanted on the nearby Field Marshal Cariappa Parade Ground.

The operation to remove a Tabebuia Rosa tree, whose girth is big enough to envelop a warm hug for an average person, commenced on Friday morning.

Undertaken jointly by the Bangalore Environment Trust, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. and the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, the expertise for tree transplantation is being provided by the Chennai-based Masterplan Landscape Architects, the work was to get over by late Friday but rain hampered progress.

Though a couple of cranes arrived at the spot, the supervisors decided to postpone the transplantation to Saturday morning.

How it is done

Here is how trees are transplanted: In the first step, workers lop off the branches and reduce the existing tree to a vertical log. The tree is then tied from three or four sides lest it falls on the workers undertaking the operation.

Then, the workers start digging the earth around the tree. Hours later and after reaching over 10-ft depth, the mother root is preserved as it is while the other roots are cut off leaving a metre long butts. The roots so cut are treated with friendly-chemicals so that they do not suffer damage because of sudden exposure to open air and sunlight.

After being so salvaged, it is carefully shifted to the venue of transplant using cranes and a lorry in the presence of fire services personnel and ambulances to meet any eventuality.

At the site of transplant, a huge nine-ft deep pit is dug. The first two feet of it is covered with sand. After carefully landing the tree in the pit, it is covered with sand.

The experts explain that only sand is used to fill up the pit because that would make it easier for the tree to branch off its roots in loose soil.

They said the tree would be watered on a regular basis so that it rejuvenates at the earliest.

Trustee and administrator of BET G. Govardhan said in about 45 days fresh leaves could appear.

However, horticulturist of Taj West End S.L.V. Prasad, who is also helping the operation, said his experience was that the time required was six months to two years for the tree to show signs of rejuvenation.

"This is because we are not giving a greenhouse-king of conducive atmosphere for it," he said.


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