Uttarakhand forest department initiates tree transplantation drive

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Haldwani (Uttarakhand)., Sep.5 (ANI): In a unique display of bionomical sensitivity, forest officials in Uttarakhand's Haldwani district have decided to transplant old trees instead of felling them.

The step is being undertaken as part of the ongoing road-widening project on the Haldwani-Nainital National Highway here.

Trees, which are over 40 years old, are being transplanted under this initiative. These trees are first taken out of the surface along with their roots and then shifted to about 200 metres away with the help of large cranes.

The forest department has plans to undertake 50 trees. It costs about Rs.5,000 to 7,000 for transplantation of a tree.

It takes about five to six hours to transplant a tree.

The attempt, carried out under the supervision of environmental experts, was undertaken to make way for a new highway coming up in the region.

Using coordinated efforts of technology, the meticulously planned transplantation exercise was aimed at creating 'green' avenues for similar development initiatives in the future.

A team, headed by the district forest officer utilized all available resources to inflict minimum damage on the trees during the transplantation.

"We are building a new road on the national highway from Haldwani to Nainital. To widen the roads, we had to cut some trees from the way. However, instead of cutting the trees, we have tried to undertake a massive transplantation experiment here," said Parag Mathur, the forest officer.

However, this was the first time when such a large-scale effort to save forests was carried out in Uttarakhand.

According to experts, tree transplantation techniques usually have a 60 to 70 percent success rate.

"Basically, a week before shifting the tree, its roots and branches are trimmed so that it can store food and nutrients from the soil beforehand. Then, we dig the tree out of the ground in a way so that minimum damage to the roots is inflicted and this depends on the diameter and the age of the tree that is being uprooted," said Bhuvan Chand Joshi, an environmental expert.

Clarity, caution and precision are the keys to ensure that no damage is done to the transplanted tree, added Joshi.

To minimize chances of infections, Indole Butyric Acid (IBC) is used to promote the formation of roots at their new location. By Vipul Goel (ANI)

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