Beijing bans female poplars, willows to curb catkins

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, April 1, 2016
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Beijing will plant no more female poplars or willows in its urban area in the next five years to reduce catkins, cotton-like seed clusters that fill the air and create a nuisance during spring.

Even when there is no smog, Beijing residents are often seen wearing masks in April and May to avoid catkins invading their nostrils and mouths.

Wang Xiaoping, an official with the Beijing municipal landscape and forestry bureau, said on Thursday currently there are 2 million female poplars or willows in urban Beijing, accounting for 5.4 percent of the city's landscaping trees.

The bureau now uses flower inhibitor on these trees to prevent them from producing catkins.

Other measures include washing trees with high-pressure water guns and collecting the fallen seeds, he said.

Li Jing, a white-collar worker in Beijing, applauded the measures as she is allergic to the catkins. "I have a running nose and sneeze," she said. A mask has become a must for her in the spring.

These female trees will gradually be replaced in further urban construction and renovation projects, according to Wang.

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