Muscat – In order to increase green cover and stimulate tourism, Environment Authority (EA) has launched a campaign to grow indigenous trees in tourist sites in Jabal Akhdar, Dakhliyah.
‘The Department of Environment in Dakhliyah launched a campaign to plant wild trees, such as al alalan and al atm (wild olive) in Jabal Akhdar,’ EA said in a statement.
The al alalan tree (Juniperus Excelsa) is one of the most endangered species in the sultanate, according to Oman Animal and Plant Genetic Resources Centre. It is mostly found in the foothills and plateaus of the Al Hajar Mountains at an altitude of 3,000m above sea level.
The campaign to grow wild trees aims to increase green cover in Jabal Akhdar and preserve perennial trees at tourist sites, in addition to conserving the environment and attracting tourists.
The authority has adopted air layering, which is considered one of the most suitable methods for rapid propagation of trees, especially those characterised by slow growth.
Air layering is a method of propagating new trees and shrubs from stems still attached to the parent plant. It is also known as marcotting, a way of getting clones of woody plants that are often difficult to root from cuttings.
This method, believed to have been developed centuries ago by the Chinese, has been used successfully as a mechanism of propagating difficult-to-root plants.
The campaign is part of EA’s mission launched in January 2020 to plant 10mn indigenous trees in ten years.