21 June, 2021

Off With Their Trunks

Off With Their Trunks

What is the latest carrier of coronavirus? If authorities in the Valley are to be believed, it is the poplar tree! The district magistrate in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district issued an order to chop off all female ‘Russian’ poplar trees. “With the onset of spring, the trees start shredding pollen enveloped in cotton, which not only glide in air, but after touching surfaces, again hover in air with the slightest breeze. Thus, there is potential risk of it becoming the carrier of the virus and spreading infection from one area to another,” reads the statement.

Those who have planted the trees were asked to cut them down, failing which, action would be taken. The DM has directed the police and the forest department to ensure the order is implemented in “letter and spirit”.

The tree was introduced in Kashmir in 1982 under a Word Bank-aided social forestry scheme. Though called Russian poplar, it is a western American species known as eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides) in the US. People in...

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