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200 fallen trees transplanted in varsity

Assisted by the Botany and Microbiology departments, the Estate Maintenance wing of Bharathidasan University has transplanted at least half of the nearly 400 trees uprooted by Cyclone Gaja. The intensity of the cyclone was such that the university is still reeling without water and electricity. The galvanised roof sheets of three buildings were ripped off by the strong winds. The hostels in the campus were closed and only the administrative section functioned with power sourced from generators.

Most of the trees in the open were brought down by the cyclone. Only those shielded by buildings survived.

The university was quick to take the initiative to salvage the green cover on its 580-acre campus. Wherever possible, the branches of the trees was cut off and the trunks were placed again in the soil, Vice-Chancellor P. Manisankar said.

According to the academic team that assisted the Estate Maintenance Department, the trees were mostly standing on a few feet of soil as the surface was rocky. For a tree to stand firm, the inner and upper roots must be equally strong. But, in the university premises, only the upper roots were spread out horizontally and that was the cause for the imbalance Velu Rajesh Kannan, Associate Professor of Microbiology, said.

The university had applied fungicides on the trunks for pathogen control due to high moisture. Likewise, the soil was treated with chemical agents to control termite before transplantation of the trees, Prof. Rajesh Kannan said.

The Vice-Chancellor exuded hope that the transplanted trees would survive.


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