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People work to save trees ravaged by Gaja in delta districts

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Trichy: While thousands of fallen trees ravaged in cyclone Gaja across the delta districts are being cut down to clear traffic, there are also people who help revival of partially uprooted trees. Unable to bear the loss of trees, many are attempting to reinstate the trees back to its place.

Earth movers are being used to pull some of the trees that are more than 15 years old. While the success rate is abysmally low, experts say that it largely depends on the extent of damage caused to its root and how swiftly it is reinstated.

M Poopalan from Viralimalai in Pudukkottai district has been raising trees since 15 years. He reinstated two poohalan trees and a pungan tree, which were fallen in the cyclone, at Viralimalai town after getting permission from authorities concerned.

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“Finding them partially uprooted, I decided to revive it than to see them die,” said Poopalan. “It took around Rs 3,000 for me to hire an earth mover and with the available resources and friends, I have put it back in place,” he said. Some of its dry branches were chopped and manures were spread before placing it back in position.

K C Neelamegam, secretary, Thanneer NGO, who has coordinated the relocation of some of the trees in the city, said he has been receiving calls from delta districts seeking suggestions to reinstate trees that fell in the cyclone. We could not go in person, but we have been offering help over phone after analysing the condition of the tree after seeing its pictures, he said.


An uprooted tree is like a fish taken out of water. If not put back on time, both would die, says Oasis Syed, coordinator of Osai, an environmental organisation. What the delta region witnessed was its worst ever cyclone. Even banyan and palm trees that have their roots deep in the soil could not withstand the cyclone, he said.

Syed, who has the experience of relocating trees across the country, said that partially uprooted trees can be reinstated after examining the signs of life. He said that the success rate is very low as the roots should not be exposed to the sun. But in the case of these trees, the roots are out for almost a week. Therefore, it is better to revive trees that are partially uprooted and still have life, he said.

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