The enormous trees located on the foothills of Kizlar Sivrisi Mountain in the Elmali district of Antalya are popular among mountaineers and continue to arouse interest.

The Cedar Research Forest is located 1,520 meters above sea level at the highest summit of the West Taurus Mountains, also known as the Kizlar Sivrisi Mountains, and is home to hundreds-of-years-old monumental trees. The “Sah Tree” is 988-years-old and was analyzed by a team from the Western Mediterranean Forestry Research Centre in 2010.  The tree is 2.42 meters in diameter and 22.8 meters tall. On the other hand, the 897-year-old “Great Cedar,” which is located in the same forest, stands at 32.5 meters tall. Nusret Yakisikli, the founder of Patika Nature Walk Group, which organizes trekking events in the region, said visiting old trees and taking pictures with them is a trend on the rise in Turkey as well as the rest of the world. “It is reported that the Sequoia National Park in the U.S. welcomes 18 million visitors annually. Protecting old trees is a biological as well as touristic necessity,” Yakisikli said.

Forests hosting old trees harbour rich living forms and provide shelter for numerous beneficial kinds of microorganisms, alga, lichen and mushroom and even birds and mammals. Yakisikli observed that old forests are more resistant to climate changes than young artificial forests cleansed from rotten trunks: “Older trees make forests more fertile by providing organic materials and nutrition to other trees. They also prevent soil erosion and reduce some of the effects of climate change by storing carbon. Protecting biological diversity is not only the concern of areas that are under protection but also managed forests. Hence, keeping interventions to forest ecosystem at a minimum and leaving some parts of the old and untouched forest alone is the best approach which is becoming popular in Turkey as it is in the world. Yet, all these changes can only be realized if the traditional approach used by people who plan the use of forest sources and manage these forest areas changes so that a nature friendly approach is internalized instead. The few old trees located on the foothills of mountains are waiting to be realized.”


Source:  Daily Sabah

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