Saxaul tree forest helps restore Aral Sea environment
It has been two years since Kazakhstan and the Korean Forest Service have started their work on planting trees at the dried bottom of the Aral Sea. It is not an easy procedure and it is not cheap. The project cost the organizers US$1.7 million. Saxaul trees, a shrub-like tree native to central Asia’s deserts, planted there will save the local residents from sand and salt storms. The roots of a single bush can hold nearly four tons of sand. This year, saxaul forests were planted on 2,500 hectares.
“According to the project, in November 2018, saxaul seedlings were planted on the area of 5,000 hectares, in March 2019 – on 5,800 hectares and in the spring of this year – on 2,500 hectares. A total of five million saxaul seedlings were planted on the drained bottom. US$1.7 million were invested in the project,” Head of the Territorial Inspection of Forestry and Wildlife Department Rakhymzhan Burabayev said.
Saxaul seedlings are grown and prepared in the Kazaly forest nursery. It has an impressive area of 32 hectares. This allows to grow more than four million of saxaul seedlings per year. Every year the services sow 5,000 to 7,000 hectares of saxaul trees and sarsaparilla on the dry bottom of the Aral Sea. The planting began 40 years ago. Experts say that since then, trees have replaced sand on 190,000 hectares of land.