It was in 2005 that a new movement for trees began in Chennai

Nizhal's vision is to be an effective catalyst in greening urban areas, with a special focus on regenerating biodiversity.

Nizhal believes in sincere partnerships with local communities

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Nizhal’s commitment to sensitive urban greening includes choice of right species of trees. In an effort to spread awareness regarding indigenous species and regeneration of local biodiversity, we have prepared these indicative lists, in consultation with various experts.
For planting in avenues: The sapling should be planted 3 feet away from the compound wall, to prevent damage to the wall. Distance between 2 saplings should be at least 12 feet. Recommended height of saplings is 5 to 6 ft, for faster growth.

Planting: The pit must be 2ft X 2ft X 2ft. Saplings must be transferred from the bags without disturbing the ‘earthen ball’ that surrounds the root. The sapling must be placed in such a way that the ground is in level with its ‘collar region, (where shoot meets root)
Post- planting care: The first couple of years are critical. The saplings need to be watered regularly. Yellowing and falling of leaves is an indication of over- watering.

Books and Useful links on Trees


  1. Trees of Delhi – A field guide by PradipKrishen (Rs.799)-Dorling Kindersley publication- A very good book for identifying trees all over India (though much more relevant to the people in Delhi) as it gives account of 252 species with 1100 good quality photographs. An excellent publication! It is definitely worth having it on your bookshelf.
  2. Beautiful trees & shrubs of Kolkata by R.K.Chakraverty&S.K.Jain- published by Botanical Survey of India, Indian Botanical Garden, Howrah- Rs.128 (198 pages)- Very good book for Kolkata -ites although it is quite useful for others also. Quality of photographs is not upto the mark. However details about Kolkata are very good.
  3. Concise flowers of the Himalayas by Oleg Polunin & Adam Stainton (Rs.450)-Oxford
    Publication- A very good book for identifying & learning about the flowers of the Himalayas. It explains about 1002 species of Himalayan flowers with colour photographs & Drawings.
  4. The book of Indian Trees by K.C. Sahni- Oxford publication (Rs.275)- Explains 153 Indian species in more technical way. A difficult read for beginners, though good for advance readers. Explains species with the help of 70 drawings & 20 colour photographs of about 90 species. It is produced by the Bombay Natural History Society(BNHS) in Mumbai.
  5. Common Flowers of India by D.S.Pandey&N.P.Singh by Publications division (Rs. 250)- highlights 150 common plants. It appears quite good with good quality pictures.
  6. Tropical garden plants by Bose ,Choudhary and Sharma.Certain names may have changed since but it has 1661 plates of trees, shrubs, climbers, house plants, cactii and succulents. worth every bit of about Rs 2000/-. One of the best books for the layman, and horticulturist.
  7. The BNHS has published *Trees of Mumbai*, 2006. Price Rs. 465/-. Sadly, it is not even half as good as Trees of Delhi.
  8. Isaac Kehimkar’s book, *Common Indian wild Flowers*, BNHS, 2000. Price Rs. 375/-. Highly recommended and can be carried in the field.
  9. SrikangIngalhalikar’ s, *Flowers of Sahyadri*, 2001, printed by Pragati Offset, Hyderabad. The flowers are restricted to the Western Ghats, specifically to Maharashtra. It can also be carried in your daypack.
  10. *Trees of India*, 1999 by Dr Subhadra Menon &PallavaBagla. A large book published by Timeless Books, New Delhi. Contains photo descriptions of approx. 80 trees.
  11. “The Secret life of Trees” by Colin Tudge, Penguin Books, 2006. It is very interesting and absorbing.
  12. Indian Trees- Dietrich Brandis-1978- antic reference book.
  13. Maharashtra flora-4 volumes-Dr. M.R. Almeida-Good reference book to get species account. It is not a field guide.
  14. North East Indian Orchids- Mohan Pradhan- very good book.
  15. Some beautiful Indian trees-E.Blatter and Walter Millard- for beginner.
  16. Our tree neighbours- Chakravarti. S. Venkatesh-National council of Educational research and training- OK book with some useful tips to identify trees on the basis of leaves.
  17. Some beautiful Indian climbers and shrubs- N.L. Bor and Raizada- Many exotics are included in this book.
  18. Focus on sacred groves and ethnobotany- Prof.V.D. Vartak.- this book
    deals with conservation of trees in older days.
  19. Endemic plants of the Indian region-M.Ahmeddulla h and M.P. Nayar.- Botanical survey of India.-for further reading it is useful.
  20. The private life of plants-David Attenborough. -Good to have in collection. Informative.
  21. The secret life of plants- Peter Tomkins and Christopher Bird- Informative. Good to have.
  22. Freaks and marvels of plants life-M.C.Cook
  23. Taxanomy of vascular plants -George H.M. Lawrence.-Oxford and IBH.-scientific information.
  24. Dictionary of Economic plants in India- Umraosingh,A.M.Wadhwani, B.M.Joshi
  25. Kolhapur flora,Corbettflora,Tadobaflora,Khandala flora by Botanical survey of india.
  26. CPREEC books on Sacred groves of Tamil Nadu and trees of Chennai by Dr.Amirthalingam
  27. Flowering Trees by M.S. Randhawa- National Book Trust- Rs. 65/- ( 208 pages)- explains 56 species, with the help of plates & figures along with details about which species to be planted in Gardens, villages, Towns, Cities, Avenues, Highways etc.
  28. Common Trees by Santapau, published by NBT
  29. Our Trees by R.P.N.Sinha- Publications Division- Rs.40/-( 88 pages).Gives account of most common 51 Indian Trees with lot of emphasis on their association with Indian Mythology.
  30. Trees of India by Pippa Mukherji for WWF India published by Oxford
  31. Forest plants of the Nilgiris – by Keystone, Ooty.

Useful links on Trees