Every day, I traverse Brickdam to get to and from work, sometimes as often as four to six times a day so I am familiar with it. Brickdam, like many of the streets in central Georgetown, is lined with magnificent trees.

I have written a lot on the need to care for the trees in the city, however, my advice continues to fall on deaf ears and it is with disgust and sadness that I continue to witness their daily destruction.

Last May, I wrote about the danger of using oil paint on tree trunks to make them look decorative. This practice continues and today, the city is poorer with the loss of a large Flamboyant tree which toppled over outside of the Brickdam Police Station during last week.

Incidentally, there are three more trees right outside this same police station, all dead, just waiting to topple over, compliments of someone who has been painting their trunks.

The primary use of paint is to decorate, protect and prolong the life of natural and synthetic materials, and act as a barrier against environmental conditions like rain, sunlight which trees need for their continued survival.

Paints contain pigments, resin, solvents and other additives, some of which are harmful to the atmosphere. Trees, which have their own beauty, do not need paint. In fact, the chemicals in oil paint eventually destroy the protective bark on the outside of the trunk, and cause the tree to weaken and die.

After the tree fell last week, my phone rang continuously as citizens expressed their disgust and anger. Nowhere else in the world is this allowed to happen, people would lose their jobs if it did. Trees are important. Man cannot live without trees. One tree produces enough oxygen for four people and absorbs pollution and carbon.

I wonder who advises the city on the maintenance of its trees? And how are we promoting a Green Guyana if we are systematically killing trees with paint? It is time to care for and protect our trees. Generations to come will thank us.

Until next week, Happy Gardening.

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