21.03.2018. The festivities in Akhal velayat in honor of the national spring festival, Nowruz, began with mass tree planting, launched by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.

The head of state was welcomed by multiple participants in the tree-planting yovar. Among those taking part were representatives of ministries, agencies, and public organizations. Honorable elders and grey-haired mothers, standing side by side with young people, gave their blessing to the event. For centuries, planting of a tree has been regarded by the Turkmens as one of the best noble deeds.

After warmly welcoming the yovar participants, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov proceeded to a plot of land prepared for planting. Here, the President planted a young mulberry tree. The people assembled followed the lead of the head of state and joined him. Representatives of almost all sectors of the economy, the diplomatic corps accredited to Turkmenistan, and foreign guests partook in the event.

Mass planting of mulberry trees has taken on highly symbolic importance in the context of the Silk Route. Reviving the greatest and unique phenomenon of human civilization, our country is making every effort to recreate the historical brand that has its origin in the name of the fine fiber produced by silkworms that feed on the leaves of the mulberry tree. That is why planting of mulberry trees as the number-one tree during the 2018 campaign is in tune with this year’s motto in our country “Turkmenistan – the Heart of the Silk Route”. In addition to the tree-planting activities, all necessary steps were taken countrywide to tend the trees planted earlier that grow well and cover big areas. Last October, a magnificent white yurt-shaped building, Nowruz Ýaýlasynyň Ak Öýi, was officially opened in the mountain valley in Ahal velayat – Nowruz Ýaylasy (Nowruz Meadow). The ceremony was attended by the President of Turkmenistan and was timed to coincide with the launch of a regular tree-planting season.

Today, the results of many years’ work can be seen everywhere in Turkmenistan – large areas covered by man-made forests with tens of millions trees stretch in different parts of the country. Vast park areas are created around every city and village; the foothills of the Kopetdag, which are now close to white-marble Ashgabat, turn lush green.

The efforts aimed at creating man-made forests are well coordinated by presidential decrees. The progress of tree-planting campaigns receives close and careful attention of the head of state, and is discussed at Cabinet and video-selector meetings.

In line with the Decree issued by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, 3 million trees are to be planted during the 2018 planting campaign with 1.5 million trees in the area between Ak Bugday etrap and Baherden etrap (Akhal velayat), and 1.5 million deciduous, coniferous and fruit trees, and grapevines in the regional administrative centers and cities. Ministries and sectoral agencies, the capital’s and velayat khyakimliks are formally responsible for implementing the Decree.

As part of the large-scale planting campaign launched today, mulberry trees and fruit trees were planted in the Nowruz Ýaylasy Valley in the area of 15 hectares and 5 hectares respectively.

The mulberry tree is known as “the king of trees” and “the king of berries” in Central Asia for its medicinal properties. Its fruits, which contain powerful natural antioxidants – carotene, vitamins C and E, and selenium, help to cure many diseases.

Often used as an element of landscape architecture, mulberries are planted either individually or in groups in streets, parks and recreation zones. They are also used as a garden hedge. Mulberry trees preserve their beauty even in the winter thanks to the art of topiary.

Silkworm larvae, whose cocoons are used in silk production, feed on mulberry leaves exclusively. The mulberry tree is also valued for its wood. In Asian countries, it is used in making musical instruments. Its dense, springy and heavy wood is also used in building, woodwork, and for handicrafts.

When it comes to fruit trees, they can make any place truly unique and amazingly beautiful. When in bloom, they look particularly fascinating, and lose none of their charm after the blooming period is over. Fruit trees have rich crowns and emerald green foliage, which favorably contrast with their bright sweet-smelling fruits. Different varieties of ornamental trees are projected to be planted in the Nowruz Ýaylasy Valley to make it an area of scenic beauty at any time of the year.

A total of 377, 572 people (45, 672 – in Ashgabat and 331, 900 – in the regions) took part in the tree-planting event with more than 445,130 trees planted all over the country (198, 220 trees in Ashgabat, and 246, 911 trees in the velayats). Tending activities were also carried out to take care of existing trees.

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