Don’t cut down trees…

Sadhana Ramchander

The one thing that comes to most people’s minds when a tree comes in their way is an axe. They don’t think twice about cutting down beautiful trees that might even be a 100-years old. However, there is one person who does things differently – businessman/artist/environmentalist – Vijayaram, who has started the Society for Awareness & Vision on Environment in Hyderabad. Apart from anti-plastic campaigns, distribution of clay Ganeshas, water harvesting, and tree planting, SAVE now offers the service of tree translocation.

As shown in the photo-essay below, a tree needs to be prepared before it is translocated. Depending on the size, it costs anywhere between Rs 10,000 to Rs 30,000 to translocate one tree. Apart from money, this cause needs a deep love of nature, time, and dedication. Vijayaram needs all the help anyone can give him to further this endeavour, especially in the light of the fact that 5000 trees are going to be felled when the metro-rail project takes off in this overcrowded city. Vijayaram says, “If the government could allocate some place to translocate these 5000 trees, it could become a beautiful green space that the tourism department could subsequently develop.”

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Vijayaram doing a puja as a gesture of asking forgiveness of the tree

The lower branches are cut for ease of transport

Straw is wound around the whole trunk and the tree is tied using a thick rope to give it support

A growth hormone is applied to the secondary roots; the base of the tree is filled with soil and a bag is tied around it. This is then left for three months, during which time the roots and the straw-covered trunk are watered every day. Proper watering is extremely important.

Teachers could help by creating awareness among children in schools or by signature campaigns to the government

The tree is shifted three months later, after another ceremonial prayer to the tree. Note that the earth has been freshly dug to uncover the bag.

A lot of manpower is needed during the shifting, especially if the tree is in the compound of a building. Utmost care is needed so the tree does not fall on any structure and no one gets hurt.

The tree is brought down carefully…


…a crane picks it up and takes it to the place where it will be re- planted with the hope that it will thrive in its new environment. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t… a lot depends on the care given after the tree is re-planted.

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