Mysore/Mysuru: The Forest Department is removing trees of various species planted by its own staff on the 9 km stretch of the National Highway (NH) service road from Bannur Ring Road junction (Devegowda Circle) to APMC Yard on Mysuru-Nanjangud Road and are translocating them to other places to facilitate widening of the service road on the above 9 km stretch.
There are 537 varieties of trees which were planted by the Forest Department in 2017-18 on the 9 km stretch and now, the same Department are removing them. The process of translocating the trees has begun about two days ago
According to sources in the Forest Department, Peepal, Banyan and Java Fig trees numbering about 120, would be translocated from the roadside and planted at Daivi Vana, selected spots on Chamundi Hill Road and at various tree parks in city. But the remaining trees such as Bete (Rosewood tree), Honne, Neem and other species cannot be translocated, sources added. This means, a total of 417 trees would be axed.
Meanwhile, experts say the translocation of trees is a complex and delicate process whose outcome cannot be predicted. A tree cannot be transplanted by simply uprooting it and placing it in a pit dug elsewhere. The process involves multiple steps and requires significant expertise.
Even after all steps are meticulously followed, a lot depends on luck. The survival rate of a transplanted tree is about 50 percent. If it survives, the tree may take up to 10 years to grow a full canopy similar to what it originally had.
Not all trees can be transplanted. While Peepal, Ficus, Semal and Sheesham are tolerant to transplantation, other species are not. Any tree that has a tap root system cannot be transplanted, as the root goes deep into the soil and it is not possible to isolate it without damage, experts added.
Yesterday, a public hearing by the Forest Department on felling of 537 trees planted by them on the 9 km stretch of the National Highway (NH) service road was held, during which environmentalists took strong objections to axing tree by tearing up consent letters that were in favour of felling trees. But the Forest Department, which had already decided to translocate 120 trees before the public hearing, have begun the process of translocating the trees about two days ago. The environmentalists alleged that saplings of various tree species were planted by the Forest Department, who had nurtured the saplings which have now grown into small trees. Why plant, nurture and then kill them? they questioned.