A Transplanted Tree at a Cost of Rs 30K is totally DEAD in 8 Months near Lady Hill

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A Transplanted Tree at a Cost of Rs 30K is totally DEAD in 8 Months near Lady Hill

Mangaluru: A Tree Saved! That’s right, and it was a Peltophorum Tree, that was saved by Activists/Environmentalists/officials of MCC and Forest Department and Relocated/Transplanted it a few meters away from its original place, saving it from being Axed down for Road Widening, at the turning corner near Lady Hill/Pompei Church-Urwa on 8 August 2018. Indeed a good job done by one person in Mangaluru who is the backbone of ‘Mangalore Green Brigade’ organization, Jeeth Roche who whenever gets the news that a tree or trees needed to be axed down to make way for roads or infrastructure, quickly steps in and suggests the idea of translocation of tree or trees, rather than killing them.

And such idea was used on that day of 8 August 2018, to shift a tree from one place to another, and planting it there. Thanks to Jeeth, who had found a way to ensure development does not come at the cost of the environment, and who believes it is better to relocate trees rather than felling them. Along with the help from his wife Selma Roche, and Prajwal Suares, a member of his organization, the huge tree Peltophorum pterocarpum, a species of Peltophorum was transplanted, in the presence of a couple of environmentalist just watching with folded hands across their chest?

Tree Transplant Process being done on 8 August 2018…

If Vijay Nishant in Bengaluru, a much-sought-after urban conservationist, is popularly known as the ‘Tree Doctor’ in Garden City, but here in “Educational City”, we can surely call Jeeth Roche as the Tree Doctor, who has transplanted nearly 20 trees, and has planted thousands of saplings/trees. But sadly, while appreciating the great efforts put in by Jeeth Roche, today I have some bad news for him, that the transplanted Peltophorum is completely DEAD with lack of WATER and CARE! Do we need to blame Jeeth, surely NOT? The people need to be blamed are the so called Tree Lovers or hard core environmentalists who neglected this tree, by not taking care of it or watering it after it was transplanted.

On that day of 6 August 2018, during the tree transplant process, after most of the tree branches were pruned, the tree was then transported using a crane to the new place, just a few meters away from its original place, near St Aloysius English Medium School-Urwa- and where a root ball trench was already been made and the soil been treated with anti-pest and anti-disease chemicals. The shifted tree was then planted in the new trench, and for the next couple of months it required close monitoring- and looking at the dead tree now, it seems like CLOSE MONITORING was not done? In the photos, if you notice a few green leaves on the Peltophorum tree, they belong to the branches of the adjacent tree.

This is the Fate of the tree as of 9 April 2019 (Note: The green leaves that you see in the pics are from the branches of the nearby tree)

So with the transplanted tree dead showing signs of dryness, eaten by termites etc, the amount of about Rs 30 thousand tax payers money spent on relocating this tree is now gone down the drain. Sources reveal that Termites don’t eat wood from a tree. When termites are found in or on a live tree, something is causing the pith or cambium layer of the tree to die. Termites invade and eat the dead cellulose. And that could be the case of this tree, where you can see the red mud termite layer, that was responsible for the death of the Peltophorum tree.

Even though Jeeth Roche has been at the helm transplanting over 20 trees, but I have the witness to his two transplanting projects- one near the Lady Hill Turning Corner, and the other one, a Ashvatha Tree was relocated at a whopping cost of nearly Rs 3 lakhs, and planted from its original place near Bunts Hostel to a spot across from C V Nayak Hall ( just a 1/4 Km distance). While the former tree is on the verge of dying/dead, the latter (Ashvatha Tree) is live and green-thanks to the shop owner near to the tree, and also the taxi drivers and the workers of a construction site nearby, who have been watering this tree daily and non-stop! Ramesh,a taxi driver speaking to Team Mangalorean said, “If we had not watered this transplanted tree it would have dead by this time. Environmentalists did their job in relocating the tree, we are doing our job by saving it from dying”.

But in the former case, Raghu, a auto-rickshaw driver near Lady-Hill auto-park said, “When the tree was getting shifted I very well knew that it won’t survive, if proper care and watering is not done, and I was right. For a few days, after the tree was transplanted, I saw a few people watering that tree, and that was only for a while. It’s sad to see the tree dead, after taking so much trouble in relocating it, and saving it from being axed down”.

In conclusion, we all know that trees play a very important role in protecting the lives of all other living beings found around them. Most of our activities generate plenty of carbon dioxide and other harmful gases that pollute the atmosphere, and it is only trees that can convert these gases into oxygen and help counter the ill-effects. Trees take many years to grow and once fully grown, many species can live for more than a hundred years. The loss of even one tree in a vicinity can cause an imbalance in the natural wealth and health of the surrounding area. Tree translocation is a tedious process, which has to be done very carefully. And if trees are relocated/transplanted, proper CARE and WATERING needs to be done- if not it would be just another case of this dead Peltophorum Tree?

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