Planting a sapling is no accomplishment; tending and nurturing them into trees is an act of creating green wealth, was the crux of the monthly ‘meet your scientists’ programme organised by the Anna Science Centre-Planetarium.

Dig in a shovel, plant a sapling and pose for a photograph. For ‘go green’ campaigners who pride themselves on planting saplings on special occasions, it would do well to remember that the act is not the end, but the beginning of an environmental effort.

Safe tree growing

Planting a sapling is no accomplishment; tending and nurturing them into trees is an act of creating green wealth, was the crux of the monthly ‘meet your scientists’ programme organised by the Anna Science Centre-Planetarium.

Tree growing should neither impede traffic nor inconvenience pedestrians and should ensure safe roads and platforms for the common man, said M.Partha Sarathy, founder, Green Wealth Foundation, Chennai.

While awareness on sapling plantation is high, know-how on doing it the right way is lacking felt Mr. Partha Sarathy. Educating and involving youth in greening activities in and around residential areas, reducing solid waste and encouraging rain water harvesting were the issues deliberated upon with a motley group of 160 school and college students.

Elaborating on efficacy of tree growing, he listed trees ideal for planting. The species should provide shade and should be of longitudinal growth. All saplings needed tending in the initial two to three years, and intermediate pruning, Mr.Partha Sarathy insisted. Soil must be cleared of debris, seasoned with dry leaves and neem cakes to promote growth. He elaborated on the right method of watering plants, dimensions of an ideal pit and ways to assess top soil.

Social responsibility

Fielding questions from students, he said perforated plastic tree guards were preferable to metal paraphernalia. Commercial boards nailed into trees are harmful and it is the social responsibility of citizens to reprove such acts. Replying to a child’s query if it was wise to grow lawns over trees, Mr.Partha Sarathy said lawns required high maintenance and were more for beautification than for environment benefits.

While lawns were for restricted use, trees had manifold benefits for society. An act of creating green wealth by spending an hour tending to plants is also a healthy habit.