Since it is fashionable to plant trees and I expect surge in this fashion with growing number of urban youth accepting it as fashion under the constant hammering by all types of media, this is important.
Plant wisely. Plant natively. But for that, you will have put extra efforts than mere showing selfie with tree planting.
GO LOCAL. LOCAL FOOD, LOCAL TREES, LOCAL GAU MATA, LOCAL WATER, LOCAL PLANTS! That is the secret of great living. Possible when you are bold enough to break globalization delusion.
READ IT> ACT!
“If the green baby you are inserting into the ground is not native to your region, there’s every possibility they will catch diseases and be zapped by the weather in a way that native trees won’t. They may also require more water and other resources for their maintenance than a city may not be able to afford. Non-native trees can also be harmful to native flora – eucalyptus, which is widely planted in India, strips the soil of moisture and nutrients and renders the soil in the area infertile. They can also be eye-poppingly expensive, costing huge amounts of public money.”
1) What tree am I planting?
2) Is my tree going to kill someone?
Don’t go chasing that Guinness world records!
A dear friend’s comment on this fb note:
“Let the local ecosystem reassert itself; trees will crop up in natural competition, aided by birds and bees. Call back the birds flying or dying away. Summon the moist wind in its seasonal protocol if you can. Give air, water their room. I am told they were the presiding deities once when soil formed and Earth menstruated. Trees raised their heads in their evolving varieties. Flowers bloomed. Birds sang in the carnival of life and growth. Whoever thinks those sapling sticks can become magic wands to swish away the death that has overtaken the said carnival?”
Thinking of planting a tree? Please stop.
What tree am I planting?
The aforementioned Ladakhi willow proved a sensible choice in that particular instance – the roots of these willows bind the soil and prevent erosion. But if the green baby you are inserting into the ground is not native to your region, there’s every possibility they will catch diseases and be zapped by the weather in a way that native trees won’t. They may also require more water and other resources for their maintenance than a city may not be able to afford. Non-native trees can also be harmful to native flora – eucalyptus, which is widely planted in India, strips the soil of moisture and nutrients and renders the soil in the area infertile. They can also be eye-poppingly expensive, costing huge amounts of public money. The government of Punjab, for instance, has been on a spree to plant date palms in the last few years; Amritsar has date palms lining the road from the city to the airport. While some claim the trees cost Rs 12,000 each, members of Amritsar-based NGO Mission Aagaaz claim they cost Rs 20,000 each. “We have filed an RTI application so we can have this on record,” says G Gurbhej, the organization’s secretary.
Is my tree going to kill someone?
You have romantic notions of creating a shady canopy for your unborn grandchildren and decide to plant Rain trees or Silver Oaks. But the roots of giant, sprawling trees in cramped urban spaces may damage compound walls, building foundations and water and sewage pipelines. Or in the monsoon, falling trees and branches can be deadly for pedestrians and motorists on the street. Bangalore’s municipal body, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), has decided to stop planting Gulmohars in the city as it believes they’re a nuisance, particularly because of falling branches when it rains.
Why am I stuck on flowers?
Vinay Sreenivasa, an activist with Hasiru-Usiru – a network of organizations and individuals in Bangalore concerned about protecting equitable access to public spaces – believes that now and then, it’s nice to have some ornamental trees such as Tabebuia, which dot Bangalore with showers of pink flowers every spring, or Rain and Gulmohar trees that provide the city with shade. But he cautions that it’s also important to have varied species, and not have streets lined only with avenue or ornamental trees. “We need to consider what purpose we want a tree to serve in a particular area, and select the species and location accordingly. Why aren’t we planting more fruit trees, given the state of our food security?”
Santhosh George of WePlant India, which promotes the planting of indigenous, location-specific fruit trees in public places, believes planting fruit trees will enhance biodiversity and fight malnourishment. “In northern India, trees such as mango, jamun, guava, pomegranate and gooseberry grow well, while in the south, it’s mulberry and papaya. In northeast India, we promote the planting of oranges, plums, and sometimes apples, because they do well there.”