Why more trees should be grown on hill top ?


   

The life of entire living world , i.e. animals , birds , fisheries is fully dependant on air , water and food. Neither human kind or any other living species can exist on this earth without above three basic things on earth. Tree or vegetations play extremely important role in promotion of the wellbeing of above three basic essential things for life on earth. Let us try to enumerate various ways in which tree help nature in keeping balance of air , water and soil.
1. Trees keep the quantitative balance in the air , of various essential gases like oxygen and carbon-dioxide. All living species including human kind absorb air when they breath, keep oxygen within their body and throw back carbon-dioxide and other non essential gases in the atmosphere. On our earth the living species are existent for millions of years. So within this millions of years , with billions of living creature on earth absorbing oxygen and throwing back CO2 gas in atmosphere, the oxygen gas in atmosphere would have been reduced and the CO2 gas would have been increased, but it does not happen so in the nature.

CCT rain water harvesting at Chatushrungi Rain water harvesting at Hanuman Tekdi Rain water harvesting at Hanuman Tekdi
     
* Brown Dove at Chatushrungi-captured by Ravi Gogate * Ashy Prinia at Chatushrungi- captured by Ravi Gogate * Koel at at Chatushrungi- captured by Ravi Gogate


The balance of the quantities of various gases is fairly kept constant by nature in this millions of years. How the nature keeps this balance of oxygen and CO2 gas in the atmosphere ? Trees or vegetation play important role in keeping this balance because trees absorb ( in the day time) CO2 gas through the photosynthesis process divide the molecules of carbon and oxygen of CO2 gas, store the carbon within themselves in the form of leaves , branches and stem, and release oxygen in the atmosphere. This process is exactly reverse of what living species do when they breath. That is how quantum of oxygen in atmosphere is maintained by nature in the long long period of millions of years. So we are living on this earth because of the trees. Are not we ?
2. Tree conserve the drinking water on this earth because the roots of the trees go deep in the soil ins search of water, in this process roots help developing cracks in the soil, soft stone and sometime even hard rocks. When rain falls on the earth , the rain water goes deep within the soil due to this cracks and so the trees help increasing the water storage under ground and this underground water goes in various wells and is used by human beings and other animals. With billions or trillions of trees on the earth , we can imagine how much water is conserved by nature underground.
3. Tree prevent soil erosion / Tree generate new soil formation. Heavy rain shower causes soil erosion , since soil dissolves in the rain water, flowing in the streams and rivers. That is why we see the color of the stream or river water muddy in rainy season. We also see the rocky hill tops as soil on the top eroded due to rains. However if the hill top and slopes are covered thickly by trees , the soil erosion is considerably prevented. Trees every year drop leaves and dried branches , flower and food on the ground and thus form thin layer. This process creates composed or half composed organic material over the ground and this organic layer bears the impact of heavy rains and prevent the soil layer underneath from dissolving in the water, it also acts as a filter and thus reduces soil erosion. That is why in jungle , the streams flow much filtered or clean water. Every fully grown-up tree drop about a hundred kilos of dry organic matter to the ground in the form of leaves , flower , fruits and small dried branches. Due to rain water the composting process continues and every year new layer is added on the ground. Thus creating new fertile soil on the ground. This is an invaluable contribution of trees to nature. We must remember that human beings cannot make soil.
4. Tree provide food and shelter for birds and animals. Most of the birds form their nests on the branches of the trees and live on the fruit of the trees. Even various animals live , eating the fruits. So trees play very important role in cycle of living species , in the nature. So far we have found how the trees play important role in the nature of this earth, on which we live. Let us find the value of a tree or value of its contribution to nature.
5. Value of the trees (Reference :Times Of India 18 Feb 2002). Environmentalist and ecologist have succeeded over the years in educating us about value of trees in maintaining the ecological balance. But trees are worth a lot in terms of hard cash, irrespective of the type of woods it yields weather it is sandal wood , teak wood or eucalyptus . Pharmacy firm Astra-IDL says every tree living fifty years is worth a whopping Rs 33 lakhs (as per 2000 rupee valuation). In an educational booklet it has published , it explains its valuation as follows. A tree living fifty years.
a) Generates Rs 5.3 lakhs worth of oxygen .
b) Recycles Rs. 6.4 lakhs worth soil fertility.
c) Facilitates Rs 6.4 lakhs worth of soil erosion control.
d) Creates Rs 10.5 lakhs worth of air pollution control.
e) Provided Rs 5.3 lakhs worth of shelter and food for birds and animals.

Many trees like Banyan , Pimple , Umber , Mango , Jamun etc have longer life. Hundred or two hundred years. Banyan or Pimple tree live up to more than three hundred years. Near Parvati (in Pune ) the pimple tree planted in Year 1740 can be seen. So if you plant and grow banyan or pimple tree you can imagine your contribution to the betterment of nature.

Trees responding to Pune hill top conditions

As per our experience, the plants of Dongri Amla (Phyllanthus Embelica), Pimple (Ficus Religiosa) , Neem (Azadirachta Indica) , Bartondi (Morindu Cituafolia) , Karanj (Fongamia Clabra), Gulmohar,  Jambhul (Engenia Jambolana) , Wad (Ficus Bengalensis) , Apata (Bauhinia Racemosa),  Tamarind, Subabul , Shewga (Moringapatery Gosperma) , Bahava (Cassia Fistula) , Gliricidia , Sitaphal (Custard Apple) , Bel (Aegle Marmelos) , Umber (Ficus Glomerata),   Karawand are growing much better on the hill top. They are withstanding the harsh conditions like accidental hay-fire  and grazing. Karanj tree is also growing with a survival rate of more than 90 %. . It’s leaves are extremely bitter and so is protected from grazing. It is also responding to slight watering after accidental summer hey-fire and new leaves are blossoming.

On chatursungi hill we are finding that Wad and Umber are growing substantially faster . This may be because this hill has around two feet deep black soil layer.
We are amazed by the sustaining power of  Karavand. It is showing slow but steady progress without much maintenance. Both Neem and Karavand are growing on the hills slopes without much watering. The survival chances of Neem and Karvand is more than 95 %. Many neem trees on Chatursungi hill got burnt last year due accidental hey fire. But many of them are blossoming after immediate watering. Tamarind is also giving excellent response in semi hard soil. It is growing faster on the hill where there is 3 to 4 feet thick soil layer. It is growing comparatively slow on hill slopes.

Bamboo is another tree responding very well on the hill top. 

Click to see photos of birds spoted at Chatushrungi hill captured by Ravi Gogte.Please note that commercial use of the photos are not allowed.