A survey to identify places within the town limits for taking up sapling plantation is under way. This will specifically list gaps left by dead trees on various stretches in the town.

Officials of the Forest Department said that the survey was primarily aimed at filling the gaps left by dead trees or those felled by the department for specific reasons.

Calling it a “gap-filling” exercise, Agriculture Officer of the department K. Sivakumar said, “We want to increase the tree cover in the boulevard. There are gaps in many places. At present, we are conducting the survey in various parts of the town and surrounding areas. Once the gaps are identified, we will take up sapling plantation after summer.”

Staff of the department have been deputed for carrying out the survey. Already, a variety of trees planted by the department provide green cover in various parts of the boulevard, he added.

“We will plant short-growing and flowering trees in the gaps identified. This includes trees such as tecoma, cordia, cassia and tabebuia,” the official said.

The department required tree guards for roadside trees, he said, adding, “The tree guards are expensive. They cost Rs. 500 to Rs. 600. Anyone willing to sponsor the guards can contact the department,” Mr. Sivakumar said.

With several roadside trees in need of maintenance, the official said that they have been taking up measures based on complaints from the public.

“If we receive complaints on overgrown branches or the like, we trim the tree branches. But summer is not the right season for carrying out this work. We purchased a machine called telescopic tree pruner to trim the branches a year ago and also have chain saw,” he said.

In a few instances, residents had also urged the department to trim the branches that covered streetlights.

The Puducherry Municipality was also planning to write to the department requesting them to take up maintenance of the roadside trees, an official said.