Hope Grows for Endangered Ghaf Tree

Hundreds of endangered ghaf trees are springing up in Umm Al Quwain thanks to donations from individuals and businesses keen to combat desertification in the country.

We have played a part.

“Many people still do not realise that the desert is not just sand and that we can plant ghaf trees without causing any harm. It’s a species from this part of the world, can be replanted and doesn’t use much water,” she said.

“At the ghaf nursery, we are creating new trees from seeds. They are fertilised with Bokashi fertiliser and we irrigate them for five years,” Abella added. A ghaf tree may only grow 1.5m in five years. The plot of land can accommodate thousands of trees and donors willing to plant their tree and visit the area afterwards are welcome to do so.

Bokashi is a method of turning food waste into earthy nutrients that can be added to soil. It also minimises the use of chemical fertilisers.

“The ghaf has so many stories associated with it. There were many uses for it as well… It is a valuable part of the UAE heritage,” said Abella.

Ghaf trees

Ghaf trees

Emmanuelle Landais
Gulf News
6 October 2011

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