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China

Race against time to save 1,700yo ginkgo tree

2018-08-27 09:21:54

CHANGSHA, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- Chinese villagers and forestry experts over the past two months have been racing against time to rescue a 1,700-year-old ginkgo tree in Hunan Province.

The tree's leaves turned yellow and withered in June due to persistent high temperatures, drought and pests, according to Yi Guo'ao, a forest ranger in Hunan's Huarong County.

"Local villagers first found the tree in critical condition. They watered it in turns and reported to the forestry authorities," Yi said.

The dying ginkgo tree is the oldest of three ancient trees under top national protection in the county. With great historic and commemorative value, it was named as the most beautiful ginkgo tree in the province last year.

The county's forestry bureau sent experts to the site immediately. They carried water to the mountain, sprayed insecticide with high-pressure machine, but all have failed to save the 40-meter-high ginkgo tree, also known as maidenhair tree.

Researchers with Hunan Academy of Forestry rushed to help. They tried a string of measures, such as spraying insecticide with drones, asking villagers to remove shrubs and weeds around the tree to let fresh air in, and digging a ditch to water the tree with mountain water.

"Thanks to joint efforts, the tree is recovering now," Yi said.

Editor:Jiang Yiwei