Let’s grow trees at the best time

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There’s a well-known saying: “The best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago. The second-best time is now.” That highlights the urgency and importance of tree planting. It’s crucial to understand not just how to plant trees but also how to nurture them for long-term growth.
Many people in Myanmar have experienced scorching summers, often attributing this to a lack of trees. While it’s easy to blame others for the barren hills and desertification in some areas, it’s more productive to recognize that now is the best time to take action by planting trees.
In 2020, forests covered 42.19 per cent of Myanmar. However, between 2010 and 2020, the country experienced a deforestation rate of 0.96 per cent annually, equating to over 700,000 acres lost each year. While deforestation has many causes, human activity is the primary driver.
Central Myanmar’s dry zones are particularly affected by water shortages, especially during the summer. Despite government efforts to implement greening projects across 13 districts in Mandalay, Sagaing, and Magway regions for over 20 years, and despite donations of drinking water by organizations and well-wishers each summer, residents still struggle with the impacts of water scarcity and dryness. As such, greening initiatives for the creation of an environment with trees of various sizes are a must for all people.
The extreme heat in summer dries up lakes and wells, leading to water shortages for both consumption and agriculture. That, in turn, adversely affects the socioeconomic status of people in these regions. Therefore, a national movement is necessary to address the water shortages in the dry zones.
Currently, some philanthropic and voluntary organizations are initiating tree-planting movements in these dry zones to combat the heat and improve local conditions. They focus not only on planting trees but also on nurturing them to ensure their survival in high temperatures. In time, these trees will contribute to environmental greening and enhance the socioeconomic life of the people.
The ideal time to plant trees in Myanmar is during the wet season, particularly in June and July, when the soil is soft and moist, making it conducive to root development. Since 1977, Myanmar has designated July as the tree-planting month, promoting tree-planting initiatives with the participation of people from all walks of life. Everyone needs to join these movements in June and July for the benefit of the entire nation.

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