News & Notes 826:TDC application – Tree Planting Along the Crown

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826 icon.jpg   News & Notes 826
11 July 2020


TDC application – Tree Planting Along the Crown


TREE PLANTING ALONG THE CROWN:

With the objective of creating more shade, wildlife corridors and help reduce traffic speed along roads while taking into consideration the nearby utilities, the project holder proposes planting 57 trees in the stretch from Auroville Library to Mahalakshmi Home. The project holder is Island Lescure. The estimated cost of the project is 2,00,000, is funded by PCG and shall be maintained by the applicant for the next 3 years with support funds from PCG.

Spacing of trees: It is proposed to add two extra trees between existing service trees and where road stretches are not shaded. This is to

  • Be more tolerant of high winds
  • Encourage a higher canopy (higher first branch)
  • Be easy to fill if one tree dies, fails or needs to be removed (several existing trees are already in a state of decline and others may need removal in the near future due to poor structure)
  • Be more resilient to drought
  • Create more effective wildlife corridors

Distance from Crown: Existing trees are approximately 3 meters from the existing road. Although it would look better at this time to follow this distance, the proposed trees would be placed closer to the road (1.75cm distance) as it would:

  • Encourage slower vehicular movement
  • Place them farther from existing and potential future utilities
  • Allow them to shade the entire road faster

The proposed distance takes into account potential future installation of a root barrier along the road to prevent roots from disturbing paving stones. Any closer to the road will mean insufficient/sub-optimum structural rooting space.

Distance from utilities along the Crown: The majority of tree roots can be found in the top 60cms of soil due to a lack of oxygen lower down. This is not definitive, but as the minimum current and recommended depth of utilities is 70cms, there is little conflict in that regard. In the future, once utility locations have been defined, a root barrier can be installed adjacent to the utilities.

Tree selection criteria:

  • Adapted to environment, main feature: drought resistant
  • Evergreen or brevi-deciduous (shade most of the summer or at least when it matters)
  • Fast growing
  • Little mess in terms of fruits, flowers, foliage
  • No dangerous fruit (falling risk-wise and also poisonous plants taken into account)
  • Ideally with interesting features (bark, leaves, flowers, shape, fruit etc…)
  • No superficial roots (surface roots that would disturb pavement, hinder traffic)

Current tree species selected: Based on availability, diversity and location suitability (trees already purchased last year)

  • Albizia saman
  • Alstonia scholaris
  • Caesalpinia ferrea/Libidibia ferrea
  • Celtis philipensis
  • Mimusops elengi
  • Simarouba glauca
  • Swietenia macrophyla
  • Syzygium cumini

Further information regarding planting methodology, watering regime, pruning schedule, location map, etc. can be seen on Auronet in the announcement posting.