Nature lovers in Chennai go on a tree planting spree

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CHENNAI: Forest department and the tree lovers in Chennai are busy planting saplings in and around Chennai, as they have left only one more month to complete their work.

While forest officials have taken up planting in various reserved forests and industrial units on the city's outskirts, nature lovers on their part plant saplings near temples and on private patta lands.

Forest department sources said their target for this season is one lakh saplings which has been distributed to three reserved forests and small industrial units in the neighbouring Kancheepuram district.

A senior forest officer said they have already planted 70,000 saplings in the three reserved forests in Thaiyur, Mambakkam and Siruvanjur. The remaining 30,000 saplings will be planted in the industrial units in the district. These units are located just outside the city limits.

D Narasimhan, associate professor, Department of Botany, Madras Christian College, Tambaram, says naturalists can start planting saplings from the month of September and can continue till November end.

There will be good showers during this period of the year, secondly the required moisture and warmth will be available for the new saplings to grow and thirdly with water availability, the roots will start establishing well after a rain. Hence, the tree lovers take up the planting work now, he says.

Manimaran T of Safe Trust, who is planting saplings in Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Vellore districts, says his organisation has already completed planting of 2,000 saplings on various private lands as well as at temples. In the temples the Trust identified the suitable 'Sthalaviruksham' trees.

Manimaran says another 1,000 saplings will be planted before the end of this month, as their target is totally 3,000 saplings.

Mere planting of saplings is not sufficient. The planted saplings should not be allowed to be cut at any cost.

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