We recently concluded the monsoon tree festival. People from all over India participated braving the rains or the uncharacteristic heat and humidity. Here is an account of all that happened during the 10 days of the festival.
Monsoon was slow to arrive this year in most parts of the country. We were still welcoming the rains when the festival started on 7th July. The festival gathered 6884 observations till 16th July, including 1350 regular and 5534 casual observations.
Observations came in from 19 states and 1 Union Territory. Tamil Nadu (2637) recorded the most number of observations with Kerala (2498), West Bengal (788), Karnataka (239) and Andaman and Nicobar Islands (223) following to make it in the top 5 states. One observation from Tripura is a pleasant surprise. Thank you, Gayathree, for this observation!
We are happy to mention and felicitate all contributors from Tamil Nadu especially –
Binisha N L, Deepiksha S, Divya R, Jaya Rakesh, Karthikeyan A, P. Rajangam, Rajapalayam Raju’s College (Nautre Club Coordinator – Mr P. R. Ramji, Mr V. Vivek, Mr Vinoth Pranav, S. Dharshini, K. Jeya Karthika, S. Miniguru, K. Sri Ponmugi, L. Rajeswari, k. Prakash, R. Raj Kumar, P. Gowtham Pandiyan, K. Kali Sasi Kumar, S. Vigneshwar, P. Vimaladevi, V. Bhavani, D. Gausalyaa, S. Deepa, M. Karthika, S. Subhiksha, N. Kaviya, M. Krishnaveni, V. Kalaipriya, A. Kokilalakshmi, M. Ramya, S. Vishnusankar), Ramco Institute of Technology, R Srijayajothi, S Vishnusankar, Selvaganesh, Sharan V, Sree Narayana UP School, Subhiksha, Suhirtha Muhil M, Thiyasree, Vinothpranav, Vishwanath, VVHSS – Thamarakulam.
Students of Rajapalayam Raju’s College collecting SeasonWatch data
141 out of the 170 SeasonWatch species were observed during the festival. The 5 most observed species were Coconut (Cocos nucifera) (606), Neem (Azadirachta indica) (481), Toddy Palm (Borassus flabellifer) (346), Mango (Mangifera indica) (329) and Gulmohur (Delonix regia) (254).
Many tree enthusiasts came forward to conduct treewalks in their regions. A special, very proud shout out to Mr Vinay Thite and Tanvi Kshirsagar for conducting their first tree walks in Bangalore and Mumbai, respectively. Tejaswinin Zende on her first tree walk assisted Sonia on their treewalk in the Pune Camp area. Elizabeth S also conducted 2 tree walks on the Veterinary College Campus, Bangalore. Vinay Suhalka led young children on a tree walk at the IIT Bombay Campus.
Tanvi leading a treewalk in Yeoor Hills, Mumbai
Sonia and Tejaswini led a treewalk in Pune Camp – Tejaswini’s first treewalk!
Elizabeth S and the treewalkers at the Veterinary College Campus, Bangalore
We hope the ‘India Treewalk Network’ encourages more resource people to conduct treewalks. If you would like to join this network, please fill out this form
As always, the Karyashala community of Rajkot too organized a treewalk led by Mr V K Pandya at the Saurashtra University Campus. The Thirunagar Pakkam Urvanam Group too conducted a treewalk, participating in the tree festivals for the second year. Mr Karthikeyan, a researcher from Madurai Kamarajar University led the treewalk and guided adding observations with the SeasonWatch app. Rajapalayam Raju’s College Nature Club in association with the Rhopalocera and Odonata Association of Rajapalayam (ROAR) participated in the tree festival by SeasonWatching the campus trees.
The Thirunagar Pakkam Urvanam Group observing trees
Local Voices in Conservation Programme, an initiative by Krishna Anujan and Karishma Modi trained young professionals from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands interested in Conservation. A part of their 20-day-long training program in Port Blair was a Bioblitz event. The #BioblitzPB happened on 15th July and was a grand success! Around 50 people – Local Voices Participants and expert SeasonWatchers from the Andaman Nicobar Environment Team (ANET) observed trees along 2 routes from Gandhi Park to the Flag Point in Port Blair. The 4 groups led by the ANET members observed 131 trees in the 1.5-hour-long event. Way to go, Andamans!
Bioblitz Port Blair – The Local Voices in Conservation Programme and ANET
Another special shout-out to Nibedita Ghosh, assistant teacher at the Samaritan Mission School, Howrah, West Bengal for her curiosity and constant support. She has been observing trees around her, sharing her observations and giving constructive feedback on the SeasonWatch Android App. It has helped us notice and fix some bugs, making it better for all of us. Thank you so much, Nibedita Ma’am!
Nibedita Ma’am with her SeasonWatch tree
The July tree festival had 3 challenges – the usual ‘100-not-out’, ‘Feather Glory’ and ‘Palms’, a bonus challenge. The festival got the participation of 52 individuals and 83 Schools and Colleges.
For the 100-not-out challenge, participants had to observe 100 trees within 10 days of the event. This popular challenge brings in the most number of observations in each tree festival. This time, 10 individuals and 9 Schools and Colleges completed the challenge.
The top 5 individual observers include Sayak Dolai (700), Thiyasree (680), Sharan V (245), K.S Lyla (207) and S Vishnusankar (143).
In the School/College category, Rajapalayam Raju’s College – Rajapalayam (1127), Madonna A.U.P. School – Kasargod (531), Peace Public School- Kottakkal (346), Gandhi Smarak U P School – Mangalam (299), and M.T.S.S.K.G.U.P. School (250) added the most number of observations.
Sayak Dolai (700) and Rajapalayam Raju’s College (1127) won the 100-not-out challenge in the individual and school/college categories, respectively.
The Feather Glory Challenge was to gather observations on tree species with Feather-like (compound) leaves, namely, Babool (Acacia nilotica), Siris (Albizia lebbeck), Chinese Lantern Tree (Dichrostachys cinerea) and Badminton-ball Tree (Parkia biglandulosa). Babool is the most observed of all 4 challenge species with 141 observations, followed by Siris (98), Chinese Lantern Tree (7) and Badminton ball tree (5)
Only one individual – S Vishnusankar uploaded observations on all 4 of the challenge species. Congratulations!
Sonu Kumar, Selvaganesh, Vinoth Pranav, Sharan V and Rajapalayam Raju’s College uploaded observations on 3 of the 4 species. A special shoutout to all of them too!
98% of the observed trees had young leaves. The following map shows the locations of all observed feather-leaved species and those with fresh leaves.
Among the individuals, K. S Lyla won the Feather Glory challenge with 19 observations on 2 tree species (Babool and Siris). Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (Prapti and Kavish) takes the prize by uploading 106 observations on Babool tree individuals.
This Bonus challenge was inspired by the fruiting season of Palms. It focused on the 4 palm species of SeasonWatch – Toddy Palm (Borassus flabellifer), Fish-tail Palm (Caryota urens), Coconut (Cocos nucifera) and Khajur (Pheonix sylvestris)
Unsurprisingly, Coconut palm (606) is the most observed species, followed by Toddy Palm (346), Fish-tail Palm (126) and Khajur (55). Thank you to all 75 individuals, schools and colleges for making this challenge a success with 1133 observations!
Sharan V, Sayak Dolai, Thiyasree, Selvaganesh, Sonu Kumar, Rajapalayalam Raju’s College and Mar Augen High School – Kodanad observed all 4 Palm species of the challenge. Congratulations!
From the data gathered during the festival, 72% of the observed Palm trees were fruiting. Here’s a map depicting all palms and fruiting palms observed all over India.
The Individual category winner of the Palms challenge is Sharan V with 98 observations. The school category prize is won by the Rajapalayam Raju’s College with 116 observations. Congratulations to the wonderful winners and a big thanks to everyone for participating in the July Tree Festival 2023.
Common Trees: Pocket Guides
Lastly, we would like to announce the SeasonWatch Pocket Guide on ‘Common Trees of India’ has been translated into 4 Indian languages – Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi and Tamil. The prints are available only for teachers and nature educators and can be ordered by filling out this form.
The Rhophalocera and Odonata Association of Rajapalayam (ROAR) created ‘Common Trees of Tamilnadu: A pocket guide of 36 familiar trees’ in collaboration with SeasonWatch. This pocket guide is useful for most parts of India. It can be purchased in packs of 3 or 5 by contacting ROAR (+91 9486920769)
Here’s a shoutout to every individual and school/college who uploaded even a single observation during the July Tree Festival. We hope for your enthusiasm and tree observations hereafter as well.
Akash Kudla, Alvin T Biju, Anakh N, ANET, Angul FES, Anita Singh, Anna, Archana, Avani, Binisha N L, Deepali Joshi, DeepikshaS, Dharitri Swain, Divya R, Dwitikrishna Jena, FES Anjaniya (SHT Mandla), FES Bichhiya (SHT Mandla), FES-Nagaland, Gayathree, Geetha Ramaswami, Jai Prakash, Jaya Rakesh, K.S Lyla, Karthikeyan A, Local Conservation, Mayurika Leuva, Meghana Manjunath, Muhammed Swalih, Nibedita Ghosh, P S Baiju, P Rajangam, Prabhakaran PV. Reshma, RRBCEA, R Sri Jayajothi, S Vishnusankar, Saw John Aung Thong, Sayak Dolai, Sayee Girdhari, Selvaganesh, Shamil MK, Sharan V, Sonu Kumar, Soorya M S, SP, Subhiksha, Suhel Quader, Suhirtha Muhil M, Thiyasree, Thryambak Sha, Vinothpranav, Vishwanath.
Schools and Colleges (83)
AKASGVHSS – Payyanur, AKGM GHSS Pinarayi – Kannur, Amrita Vidyalayam, AMUPS Akode – Virippadam, AUPS Kozhakkottur, AVHSS- Kurichy, Bemannur GUPS – Paruthippulli, Bharath English Medium School – Poinachi, Blossom English School – Kainatty, Carmel Residential Senior Secondary School, Chavaradarsan CMI Public School – Koonammavu, CHSS – Chentrappinni, CPN – BITS Pilani- K. K. Birla Goa Campus, CPN – Indubhai Parekh School of Architecture- Rajkot, CPN GSS College – Belagavi, Karnataka, CPN-Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, DBEPS Padiyoor, Gandhi Smarak U P School – Mangalam, GGHSS – Kanniakulangara, GHS – Beenachi, GHSS – Chavara, GHSS – Cheruthuruthy, GHSS – Karuvarakundu, GHSS – Kuttamath, GHSS – West Kodikulam, GHSS Thonnakkal – Kudavoor, GLP School – Mundur, GLPS – Neeleeswaram, GMS – Koilabhati, GMS – Lower Bhalukpong, Government LP UP School – Manchavilakam, Govt GHSS – Kanyakulangara, Govt HSS – Ashtamudi, Govt UPS – Manchavilakam, Govt UPS – Manchavilakom, Govt VHSS – Veeranakavu, Govt. Sec. School Darlong- Seijosa, GSCVLP School – Kodumon, GUPS, GUPS – Bheemanad, GUPS – Chengara, GUPS – Veliyanad, HariSree Public School, Kendriya Vidyalaya – Kanjikode, Kendriya Vidyalaya – Ottapalam, Kerala School for the Blind – Vallikkapatta, Kizhuthally East U P School, Little Daffodils School, Madonna AUP School – Kasargod, Mahlara Public School, Mankara West Basic and UP School, Mar Augen High School – Kodanad, MKHSS – Vengoor, MNDS – Panangattukara, Mount Carmel, MTSSKGUP School, Peace Public School- Kottakkal, PKTBM UPS – Kuttayi, Rajapalayam Raju’s College – Rajapalayam, Ramco Institute of Technology, Rani Public School, RMHS School – Aloor, Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, SMLPS – Kaliyar, SMUP School, SNBHS – Kanimangalam, SNUPS – Palliyad, Sobhana English Medium, Sree Narayana College – Alathur, Sree Narayana UP School, St. Augustine HSS, St. George UP School – Moolamattom, St. John’s HS – Kurumannu, St. Joseph’s English Medium School – Puthanangadi, St. Michael’s AIHSS, St. Peter’s St. Paul’s EHS – Meenangadi, SVVHSS – Thamarakudy, Thirumoolavilasam UPS, UMLPS – Thiruvilwamala, Veeravnchery LP School, Vidyodaya, VKV Nivedita Vihar, VVHSS – Thamarakulam.