Wednesday, September 12, 2012

In which I watch trees being cut

- Deepa Krishnan

The area outside my office has dense green tree cover, keeping the entire street cool and shady, and protecting us from sun and rain.

Today when I drove up to work, I found a tree-felling operation in progress:
A big tree standing right opposite our office was dead, and the municipality guys had been called to fell it. I spoke to the guy in charge; he had a digital camera and a sheet with instructions on which trees to cut, and which to trim. He explained that the tree opposite our office was rotten, and needed to be cut. 

Our local istriwallah agreed, and gave me some rustic advice "Jhaad andar sey sad gaya hai madam", he said. "Bahut dino se baas aa raha hai". Apparently, you can smell a rotten tree in the rains. I do not know if this little piece of dehati wisdom is true, because I couldn't smell anything strange. 

But in any case, the cutting had begun. There was a man on top of a dead branch (can you see him in the photo below?), hacking away with a small axe. They had tied ropes to the branch. When it weakened, guys standing below would tug on the ropes and the branch would come crashing down.
Along with this dead tree, several other trees were being trimmed, based on requests made by residents of a nearby building. A couple of months ago, a branch from one of the trees fell down and dented a car. So that's why the municipality had been called in.

I stood and watched as big branches came crashing down all over the street. It felt terrible, really, even if one tree was supposedly dead, the rest were still alive and were being trimmed with gusto. Once a big branch had been brought down, it was then chopped into little bits. The tools used were basic: sickles to cut off small portions, and two-man saws for larger trunks. Every now and then, the saw would need to be sharpened.
And then they would get back to the job of breaking up the branches:
The cutting went on all through the morning, from 9 am to nearly noon. In between, they took a break for sweet milky tea, sponsored by the local chaiwalla.

Eventually around 1:00, I went outside to check on the status. The entire set of trees on our street had been decimated. There used to be a pretty green canopy on my street earlier, but now it looked grim and bare.
A sorry morning, really, all in all. So much beauty lost. I am wondering how to plant another tree. Do you know any organisations that can help? 

9 comments:

Aishwarya Pramod said...

I know someone who had to get her leg amputated after a branch fell on her (in Sion-Koliwada). Even after the incident, the very same tree was not trimmed for a long time.

I think it's good that they trimmed these trees after a branch hit a car (and didn't wait till it to hit a person!)

Prakash Reddy said...


My car was dented, the guy was about to finish it with the final cost of paint.... and lo... a tree branch fell from high and smashed the car's back glass shattering it completely with bending the sides badly... Yes at Sion Koliwada...

Anish said...

Look up the Sapling Project: http://www.thesaplingproject.com/

Curry Badger said...

It's too bad to see the trees go, but it's true one of those branches could easily land on someone's head. Kind of a worst case scenario, but these things do happen.

Tree Removal Hendersonville NC said...

Theres always trees being brought down for no reason... Well not no reason, but the most occurent being something along the lines of the power lines being endangered. Its just a shame because they're always the most grand standing and golden trees of all..

-Tony Salmeron

Jiya said...

Thanks for the information u given..i dont know about all this..!!!

Soniya said...

Good Photos..!!!

Tree Service Brooklyn said...

Very interesting style of bringing it down, nice photos too by the way. The architecture is much more different.

-Samudaworth Tree Service

Aparna Bhatia said...

Hi Deepa, I came across your blog while I was searching on the procedure to plant a tree on the sidewalks of my street in Mumbai. Did you happen to plant the tree ? Or find any organisation who helps in this cause? Please let me know. Thanks in advance.
Regards
Aparna