Environmental activists, forest department and Berhampur Development Authority (BeDA) started a joint effort here on Sunday to save trees from slow death and injuries caused by nails and iron rods hammered into their trunks to put up advertisements and other things.The drive was initiated by ‘Sabuja Vahini’, an organisation of youngsters involved in protection of trees in the cyclone-prone city. Activists of the organisation through a survey documented trees that suffered because of nails and other materials hammered into their trunks to put up advertisement materials and for other purposes. The forest department, BeDA and other organisations like ‘Boxing Odisha’, Marwari Mahila Sangh, Anchalika Vikash Parishad have joined hands to start the process to free the trees from nails.Street corner meetings and a rally were taken out to make people aware about how any metal piece hammered into the trunk of a tree is a slow poison for the plant. Berhampur MLA R.C.Chyau Patnaik, BeDA chairman Subash Moharana, Berhampur Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Ashis Behera, noted botanists Brahma Bihari Panda and Sachidananda Padhi took part in the rally and meetings. The MLA said the local municipal corporation and BeDA should start taking action against persons and organisations that nail advertisements on trees. The BeDA chairman said local municipal corporations should cancel licences of advertising agencies that fix billboards on trees. Metallic intrusionsParticipants at the rally removed advertisements, nails and metal pieces like wires from tree trunks at several places in the presence forest department and police personnel. According to Sibaram Panigrahy of ‘Sabuja Vahini’, they will continue their efforts till all trees in Berhampur are free from these metallic intrusions in their bodies.“Berhampur lost many of its trees in major cyclones like the Super Cyclone of 1999, Phailin of 2013 and Hudhud of 2014, so it is high time that we save the existing large trees as well as the ones that have grown during the past few years from drying up because of nails and wires obstructing their life processes,” said the Berhampur DFO. Through a recorded message circulated throughout the city, the DFO has requested the public to remove publicity materials and other things that have been nailed to trees all across the city. Trees are also living beings and are hurt like us, it has to be realised by humans, said Prof. Padhi. Nails hammered into tree trunks create a wound in the plant that is open to infections and entry of foreign pathogens like fungi, said Prof. Panda.