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Updated: June 20, 2012 13:11 IST

Making friends with trees

Staff Reporter
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The Friends of Trees, a non-governmental organisation, helps plan greenery for houses, apartment complexes, and larger institutions.
The Hindu The Friends of Trees, a non-governmental organisation, helps plan greenery for houses, apartment complexes, and larger institutions.

Wish your colony was greener? The Friends of Trees (FoT), a city-based non-governmental organisation engaged in creating awareness on tree wealth and promoting greenery, could help you out.

The FoT has been in the forefront of documenting the city’s tree wealth through tree registers, but according to its general secretary C.K. Karunakaran, the organisation is also ready to help residents’ associations, apartment complexes and other residents and organisations in the city spruce up the greenery on their premises. And this does not mean mere tree-planting activities.

According to Mr. Karunakaran, who has already done similar work for a high-rise apartment complex in the city, there is a lack of awareness among the publicon the importance of promoting and conserving greenery.

The FoT, if approached, will help associations to plan their greenery, to get the right trees and plants and also on how to go about the process and to sustain the efforts as well.

Shade trees are preferable, Mr. Karunakaran says, though cautioning that tall trees having deep roots could be a nuisance later.

Medicinal trees like the ‘Ashoka’ (Saraca asoca), the ‘’Boswellia’ tree from which frankincense is derived, or the Wax Jambu tree (Chaampa) are suitable for most areas while for colonies with children’s areas or parks, the ‘Bilimbi’ (Irumban puli) would be a great idea, says Mr. Karunakaran, who could be contacted on 94950-59274.

The FoT is carrying forward activities related to tree documentation, including improvisations and enhancement of tree cover in areas that are already documented. Seventeen institutions, including the Women’s College, Arts College, University College, All Saints’ College, College of Engineering, Ayurveda College, Cotton Hill Higher Secondary School and the Golf Club have had their greenery documented, with the KELTRON campus at Vellayambalam joining the list on World Environment Day earlier this month.

The Women’s College will have a tree-planting programme on the campus at 12 noon on Wednesday, Mr. Karunakaran says.

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