By Ganga Kariyawasam
Planting a sapling in a different location, which was taken out from a plant nursery is just like distancing a child from home. In a nursery, the plant was given much attention and looked after, with everything it requires on time. So there is an uncertain feeling; whether the plant will adapt and survive in the new environment. It requires sunlight, water, and nutrients in optimum levels, protection from those grazing animals in the jungle or any other unpredicted risk. But then again there is no option than leaving the plants at their new home. That’s why we need to make frequent visits and monitoring the growth in the first three years until the plant gets rooted in its new home.
To inspect the condition of such trees planted, a follow-up visit was made in December 2019, three months after a tree-planting campaign. We found that the plants are surviving and slowly establishing since the campaign was done at the onset of the Maha season. On the other hand, few plants have not been able to survive due to many reasons, such as waterlogging and animal grazing in a few places. These plants will be re-filled in the next season. When we identified surviving plants in the jungle, smiling in the newly grown bushes after rain, it felt like meeting friends after some time. Those silent friends, who provide our basic needs; air and water for us to live, expect nothing in return, but our attention until they can stand alone.
Under the tank eco-system restoration activities of Climate Resilience Integrated Water Management Project or “Wew Gam Pubuduwa”, 2000 saplings were planted in September 2019, in various tank eco-system components of Ulpath wewa and Athaudagama wewa of Mamunuwa cascade in Polpithigama, Kurunegala. Tree planting was done by the volunteers and community, together with Reforest Sri Lanka.