Euphrates Poplar – “Hero Tree of the Desert”

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Euphrates Poplar is symbolic of the Chinese civilization withstanding the test of time. The characteristics of such nature’s wonder are unique & spectacular to say the least. It’s classic, majestic & immortal. (Pictures: YouTube)

Euphrates Poplar (Populus euphratica Oliv.), Salicaceae, is the only one species of poplar that can grow in the harsh desert. A natural arbor tree in the Gobi desert and the only one tree species in Xinjiang that enable forestation. It’s also distributed in the Taklamakan desert. It’s a primitive and rare tree in Xinjiang. Praised as “hero tree of desert” due to its resistance to drought, sandstorm and salt.

Rooted over 50 meters down the ground, the euphrates poplar thrives in hostile environments, fighting droughts, sandstorms and salinization. It is known as the hero tree, for it is believed that this tree can live for a thousand years, then stand upright for another thousand years after death, and stay intact for a third thousand years even after it falls. The resilience of euphrates poplar, regarded as the spirit of LZU, is highly praised by the students of the University who therefore call themselves “Euphrates Poplars”.

China’s desertification problem is largely attributed to human activity. In attempting to get rich quick, people are often guilty of ignoring the impact on the environment. Much of the damage has been done inadvertently. Perhaps a program of planting Euphrates Poplars can help to counter the advance of the sandy landscape.

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