Abu Dhabi officials plant 25 seedlings of rare tree that can live for 100 years

A 100-year-old sarh tree was first discovered in the capital in July 2020

Environment Agency Abu Dhabi discovered a rare 100-year old sarh tree in Abu Dhabi lin 2020. Courtesy: Environment Agency Abu Dhabi
Environment Agency Abu Dhabi discovered a rare 100-year old sarh tree in Abu Dhabi lin 2020. Courtesy: Environment Agency Abu Dhabi

The Environment Agency Abu Dhabi has planted 25 seedlings of a rare tree that can live for a century.

The sarh tree seedlings were planted in Jebel Hafeet’s National Park to help preserve local plant species and enhance biodiversity in the emirate.

A 100-year-old sarh tree was discovered in Abu Dhabi in July 2020. Afterwards, Environment Agency Abu Dhabi prepared a study on conserving the species.

The sarh (Maerua crassifolia) is the first tree of its kind to be identified in the emirate. Previously, the species had been seen only in Ras Al Khaimah.

It was found east of Al Ain near the Oman border as part of a project by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi to preserve and grow indigenous trees.

The area’s rocky outcrop is difficult to reach, and may have provided protection for the tree.

It was found on private land and identified by a member of the community who contacted the agency.

Residents believed the sarh to be more than a century old and they once used its delicate branches to apply kohl eyeliner.

In traditional medicine, sahr leaves are boiled to treat colic and crushed into powder to use as a poultice for bone fractures.

It was the fourth tree species to be included in the agency’s seeding programme.

The sarh grows up to nine metres high and has small, oval leaves.

Its dense branches flower in January and February and produce small, prickly fruit that ripens in March and April.

It can be found across Africa and in Jordan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Oman.

Updated: April 18, 2021 07:37 AM

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