Have you ever wondered how many and what types of trees Delhi has? The Economic Survey of Delhi 2014-2015 said that trees cover around 20% of the total area of Delhi’s territory.
But that doesn’t give us any idea about density, variety and health of trees.
Tree census includes marking of all the trees in a particular area. We simply start at chosen starting point in a particular area and with the first tree in the area. We mark it, take a photo, measure its height, age, recognize its type, see the species that are present and check the health status of the tree.
For example, many tree trunks are surrounded by concrete, making the foundations weak as there is no space for water and air to percolate. The roots of such trees are usually destroyed because they get little space to grow and to hold the tree. No wonder that trees fall like cards during rain and storms. Did you know that the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, 1994, have provisions for penal action for those who trap trees in concrete?
The tree census project is so big that it cannot be done only by government alone and it needs a civil action as well. Usually, it is the best way to start in your own residential area.
Why is tree census so important?
How many times did you walk on the streets with many trees and not even seen them? Don’t they give us shadow, fresh air and some of them even provide us with delicious fruit? Have we forgotten their importance? As we mentioned before, many trees cannot function or grow properly because of their location, lack of space or they are surrounded with concrete. It is also important to know whether a particular type of tree is suitable for a city like Delhi with a long dry season. Usually, trees which don’t require too much water in the dry season are the most appropriate ones which can adapt to Delhi’s climate and to the particular type of soil where they are planted. That means that usually the best trees are the authentic trees, but we have to be always careful about the characteristics of a specific area as well. Simply saying, a type of tree that we want to plant is extremely important step.
Sometimes trees have objects like nails, tree guards, rods, barriers, iron hooks and many trees have been lopped, which shows how careless and unsympathetic we can be towards a living entity that cannot voice itself.
The Tree census will show us the reality and give us a huge data about what we have planted in the past and how well they actually work in terms of water conservation, their productivity and growth. Tree census will show us where we failed and what can we do better in the future. The rapid growth of the city requires more trees to deal with the everyday pollution by giving us enough oxides to sustain. In the same time, we are all fighting for the lack of water and conservation of it, trees will play even more important role. There are many birds and other species who find their homes on and in these trees. It is important to preserve them as well. Tree census is bringing us back to our origin, to the nature that coexist in our cities and on which we are so depended.
Tree census is an opportunity to get out of your home, to take a moment and to open your eyes. We disconnected with nature, but reconnection is just a step away from you. Trees have more stories to tell you than a whatsapp message or a facebook status.
Want to join us? Want to start Tree census in your locality? Write to us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Katja Polc, Member of Vatavaran team