The Telegraph
Monday , September 17 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Evergreen ode to civic charm

- Steel city to plant trees with foliage that stays 365 days a year interspersed with flowering plants for pretty contrast

Move over deciduous trees, it is time for evergreen and flowering trees to line the major streets and thoroughfares of Jamshedpur.

As part of Tata Steel’s environment-friendly initiative aimed at maintaining greenery on all the 365 days of the year, a massive project has been undertaken by its wholly owned subsidiary Jusco to “phase out” existing deciduous trees along major roads with evergreen trees.

Deciduous trees shed their leaves every year in a process which botanists call abscission. Unlike evergreens, they are bare during cold or dry seasons and remain bare till they grow new leaves each spring.

Evergreen trees retain their foliage all the year round. As old leaves shed, new ones grow immediately.

Some of the prominent evergreen variants from Jusco nursery inside Jubilee Park that will make their mark on the city’s roads are Bakul (Mimusops elengi), Putranjiva (Putranjiva roxburghii) and Indian devil tree (Alstonia scholaris).

For a striking landscaping contrast, Jusco has come up with the concept of alternate spacing, which means one flowering tree flanked by two evergreens. It will also ensure a happy burst of colour to nestle between the columns crowned by green foliage.

Cheerful blooms that will give company to the evergreens are tabobia (Tabebuia avellanedae), cassia, crepe myrtle and bottlebrush plants.

The cost of planting and nurturing such evergreen and flowering trees is estimated at Rs 500 per tree. By erecting tree guards to protect the saplings, the expense is increased by a further Rs 2,000 per plant.

Jusco managing director said replacing deciduous trees with evergreens would help in many ways.

“Evergreen trees will give greenery round the year, ensuring a cooling effect. As they don’t shed leaves seasonally, the problem of cleaning heaps of fallen leaves that litter roads and clog drains will be gone,” he said.

What most urban landscape planners in India and abroad do nowadays is look for ways to absorb increasing urban heat. The dense foliage of evergreen trees will work as natural air-conditioning.

In an industrial city like Jamshedpur, this is even more vital, something that founder and visionary J.N. Tata stressed on more than 100 years ago, when these concepts were nascent in the industrially developed West.Evergreen trees have already been planted inside JRD Tata Sports Complex on Straight Mile Road (near Keenan Stadium) and near Sir Dorabji Tata Park.

Are you looking forward to the new-look greens on your city roads?