THERE are over 32,000 trees of around 20 varieties spread across Panchkula, with Terminalia arjuna (Arjun tree) and Schleichera oleosa (Kusum) being the most abundant, data collected by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has revealed.
The first-of-its-kind survey, to ascertain the total number of trees and their varieties in Panchkula, began in April and concluded in August. As per the data, there are 32, 717 trees in Panchkula Urban, with the maximum number being found in sectors 5, 20, 27 and 10.
Sector 5 leads in the list with 2,774 trees, followed by Sector 20 with 2,504 trees. The least number of trees were found in sectors 19, 16, 17 and 18.
Following the demarcation of areas between the Municipal Corporation (MC) and HUDA, trees planted on the division of roads and parks, which are with HUDA, have been included in the survey while those in the internal sectors, maintained by the MC, have been left out. Only those trees with girth of over 1 feet have been included.
“Among the most common trees are Terminalia arjuna (Arjun tree), Cassia siamea (Kassod tree), Putranjiva roxburghii ( Putranjeevi) and Schleichera oleosa (Kusum). All these are ornamental trees which grow well in the local climatic conditions,” said Hardeep Malik, Superintending Engineer (Horticulture), HUDA.
“Panchkula had a large number of Ficus virens (Pilkhan trees) earlier as they do not dry easily. But the problem is that they grow very fast and when planted on roadsides, their branches get entangled with electricity wires. So other trees like the Putranjiva roxburghii (Putranjeevi) were promoted. It does not grow beyond a certain height and thus does not create problems for power lines,” he added.
While Terminalia arjuna (Arjun tree) has medicinal properties, its bark is considered good for heart ailments, officials have a piece of advice. “Residents are well-versed with benefits of Arjun but they do not realise that only the bark in a fresh environment can be used for healing. People often cut the bark from road-side trees which have absorbed pollutants and do more harm than good,” Malik said.
Schleichera oleosa (Kusum) and Cassia siamea (Kassod tree) are known for their beauty as the Kusum tree has coloured foliage while the latter has bright yellow flowers. Horticulturists said they also tried to experiment by planting new varieties brought from Bangalore but they did not grow well here.
HUDA had undertaken the survey following complaints from residents of illegal cutting of trees and the subsequent absence of data.
“We now have a complete record of the total number of trees and it will prove very helpful in keeping a check on the illegal cutting. The counting of trees will now be done every year,” said Harlal, Executive Engineer, (Horticulture), HUDA.