Russian poplar

2 min read

News:The Jammu and Kashmir(J&K) High Court has stayed its 2015 order  directing the civil administration to cut down Russian Poplar trees in the union territory of J&K.

Facts:

  • The name Russian poplar is a misnomer and has nothing to do with Russia. 
  • The tree is a Western American species known as Eastern Cottonwood (Populus deltoides) in the US.
  • It was introduced in Kashmir in 1982 from the US under a World Bank-aided social forestry scheme.
  • Benefits:The species takes less time(10-15 years) to grow as compared to the Kashmir poplar that takes 30-40 years.Due to their high yield, poplars are intensively used in the timber and construction industry.
  • Health concerns: During summers, female poplar sheds a cotton-like material carrying seeds that cause allergy and aggravate respiratory disorders.This cotton has become an irritant in the recent past for the locals as well as tourists.