They inspect trees and pull out 1.5 kg of iron nails

On each World Environment Day, saplings are planted in public places with much fanfare. But, does anyone nurture them or monitor their growth? Do we really care about trees?

Apparently not, as was revealed in an initiative undertaken by a green organisation Paristhithi Samrakshana Samithi on Wednesday. Its workers toured the city to take a look at its trees. “Society’s insensitivity towards trees is alarming,” says A. Sreevalsan, samithi chairman.

“It’s hard to believe, but our workers pulled out nearly 1.5 kg iron nails from the trees around Mananchira Square,” he said. Some trees had more than 25 nails hammered into them.

Left to rot

Some trees were draped in metres of polyester, serving as banners at a political party’s conference. The organisers had not bothered to remove the covering even months after the event. Devoid of exposure to sunlight and air, the covered areas of the trees were irrecoverably damaged by infection. “Its just another example for our sheer callousness towards other living forms,” says P.K. Sasidharan, secretary of the samithi. Many trees had tin sheets, bearing advertisements, fixed on them. Such impediments to the trees’ growth were removed during Wednesday’s drive.

The samithi had earlier launched a programme protecting trees from insensitivity. It declared that 101 trees in the heart of the city were being “protected” by the samithi. The trees sported a red ribbon with phone numbers which should be contacted if the trees faced any threat or needed attention.

The samithi workers say that the focus of Environmental Day was often on planting saplings. “We want to make people realise that conservation of trees and attention to their well-being also are equally important,” says Mr. Sreevalsan.

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