Botanical experts to save a rare Chinese tree species from extinction in Kashmir

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Srinagar, April 22 (ANI): Botanical experts and Floriculture department in Jammu and Kashmir state have undertaken plantation of a rare Chinese tree in Srinagar to save it from extinction.

Ginkgo-biloba, a rare Chinese tree species, has been found in the lawns of Agriculture and floriculture department.

Ginkgo is used extensively in traditional Chinese medicines to treat deficient kidney and heart diseases. The species is believed to be 270 million years old, as old as the dinosaurs while the trees in Kashmir are more than 200 years old.

Experts say that Ginkgo-biloba and all other species of the Ginkgoaceae family have already become extinct and its plantation means more than mere eco-conservation.

According to a Gingko researcher, the tree is a privilege for Kashmir valley as it has got medicinal values to cure deadly diseases and illnesses.

"The tree has many benefits for us. The tree has medicinal values to cure cancer and other deadly diseases and its leaves and kernels are used as hot ailments. So it is a privilege for us that such a tree is present in Kashmir with which we can cure many illnesses," said Fida Ali Alamgeer, a Ginkgo researcher.

The life span of Ginkgo biloba can be as long as 3000-4000 years or even more.

In order to preserve this heritage tree, the department of floriculture has started propagation of this tree so that the rare species could be preserved.

"To avoid their extinction, we are planting more such trees in new areas after its cutting and propagation so that we can see them living in future also," said Sarwar Naqash, Director, Floriculture Department of Kashmir.

Ginkgo Biloba is also called the Maidenhair tree or silver apricot. These trees are very large, normally gaining a height of 20-35 metres (66-115 feet).

The tree has an angular crown and long branches and is usually deep-rooted. It is resistant to wind and snow-damage. Young trees are often tall and slender, and sparsely branched; the crown becomes broader as the tree ages. By Parvez Butt (ANI)

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