Haven’t heard much about the Chinar Trees? Don’t worry; we’ll let you know where do Chinar trees grow in India, and more!
What are the Chinar Trees?
The botanical name for Chinar is Platanus orientalis and it grows in cold areas. This wild tree usually grows 50 feet tall, but it can be up to 100 feet in optimum growing conditions. During summers, the leaves of the tree are in a deep shade of green. The real beauty of the tree unfolds in Autumn, where it turns to the shades of Blood-Red, Mauve, Amber, and Yellow. These autumn colors of the foliage are the reason why it’s called ‘Chinar,’ a Persian word, meaning–‘What a fire!.’
Climate for the Growth of Chinar Trees
Chinar trees are deciduous, which means they shed their leaves once a year. They need a temperate climate with cool winters and warm summers to grow. Rich soil, sunny location aids the growth and once matured, they can survive in drought conditions as well. These trees can grow quite big and have a long life. The oldest living chinar tree is in Chadoora in the Budgam district of Kashmir. It’s around 645 years old!
Where are Chinar Trees Found?
Chinar tree is native to the Oriental planes or the eastern parts of the World. They grow in Eurasia, Balkans, India, Pakistan, China.
Where Do Chinar Trees Grow In India?
Coming to the most relevant question of the article, the Chinar tree grows in the valley of the River Chenab. It grows in considerable numbers in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, where locals call it ‘Buen.’ Though fewer in numbers, these trees are also visible in the state of Himachal Pradesh in India. The weather conditions of the Kashmir valley are the most favorable for the growth of the Chinar tree.
It grows throughout the valleys, hillsides, and cities of Kashmir in India. It is also the state tree of Jammu and Kashmir. Chinar trees came to Kashmir from Persia and were widely planted by the Mughal Emperor, Akbar.
Uses and Benefits
Chinar tree also holds significant importance, thanks to its various other uses. Like any other tree, almost all the parts of Chinar are useful.
- The rugged and thick bark of the tree and its leaves serve for many medicinal purposes.
- The same bark and the twigs are also used to make fabric dyes.
- The timber of the tree, also known as lacewood, is often used in making furniture.
- Leaf carving artists prefer the leaves of the Chinar tree.
Conservation of Chinar Trees
The declining numbers of Chinar trees is a matter of concern. Many ecologists and environmentalists are working in the direction of their preservation. To make up for the lost numbers, the State government of Jammu and Kashmir is also making several policies. We hope that this conservation and plantation of the Chinar trees will increase their numbers.
We sincerely wish that this scenic, poetic, and blazing beauty of the Chinar tree never loses its fire, and the “Aatish-e-chinar” amazes us all for decades to come!