A cedar tree located in the Malakandi National Park in Balakot is said to be 2,500 years old that had been burned and chopped for cedar oil and wood has been restored after the intervention of the forest department.
The ancient tree is approximately 170 feet high with a width of 19 feet. Its expansive branches cast over a wide area and measure over five feet in girth.
The old tree, a popular tourist attraction, was the subject of an attempt by illegal loggers of timber as well as those involved in the extraction of cedar oil. The extraction process includes steam distillation, due to which a part of the tree was burnt. Meanwhile, another part had been chopped off by loggers leaving the tree in a precarious situation.
The forest department had the chopped-off part filled with cement as and treatedher ‘injuries’ inflicted on the ancient tree.
The tree is a major attraction at the Malakandi National Park located just minutes from the Kaghan highway. The forest department has also developed a trail leading to the ancient tree.
Ikram Mughal, a local, said that the cedar showed that a tree’s lifespan can be over a thousand years if measures are taken to ensure their preservation.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th2023.
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