The Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform issued a set of recommendations, technical advice, immediate actions, and examples of how to prune olive and citrus trees affected by fires.
In a statement that SANA received a copy of, the ministry stated that these instructions come within the framework of continuing efforts to guide farmers on the technical and scientific foundations that must be followed to deal with fruit trees affected by fires in terms of irrigation, fertilization and pruning to ensure the restoration of their growth and production.
The first measures, according to the ministry, included assigning all employees of the olive and citrus office and its departments in the governorates that had recently affected a number of its villages to be present in the Agriculture Directorate of those governorates for a week to instruct farmers to assess the technical condition of trees and their ability to natural regeneration and to hold a meeting in every cultural center nearby. Or within the areas that have been exposed to fires, in the presence of all concerned parties and farmers whose fields have been damaged, and giving them the necessary technical instructions and instructions.
Within the guidelines, the Ministry urged olive farmers to wait and not to hasten to cut down the affected trees and to be satisfied with leaving the lands planted with olive trees for at least a month without interfering with mowing, cutting or other agricultural services, and to irrigate the burnt olive trees with water directly using forest tanks or extinguishing them. Dirt around the hometown of the tree in order to harvest the largest amount of water.
The instructions indicated that after a month of the occurrence of the fire that affected the trees, excessive or regenerative pruning operations must be carried out according to the condition of the affected trees, where all the burned and dead branches are permanently trimmed and moved outside the field and the structural branches and undamaged stalk should be preserved and taken care of by providing balanced fertilizers to them. Especially nitrogenous and organic fertilizers fermented and planting mixtures of leguminous plants between the affected trees and turning them into the soil in the pre-flowering stage to accelerate the tree's restoration of its activity and vitality.
It is noteworthy that the olive tree has a great ability to confront the harsh conditions that it can be exposed to, as its vegetation may be destroyed, but it remains able to restore it due to the presence of dormant buds on the old wood and are subject to renewal and growth again, which helps it to renew itself by itself and form a new vegetable group.
It is preferable, according to the instructions, to establish fire lines around orchards that overlap with forest lands and to remove them constantly from the remains of weeds in anticipation of future fires, with the need to review the nearby extension units to see the schedule for serving olive trees throughout the year.
With regard to citrus trees, the instructions indicated that in the event that the damage reaches the main trunk, the tree must be spread from below the point of damage by about 10 cm and left to grow again with the beginning of next spring.
In its statement, the ministry called on farmers to exploit the damaged lands after removing them by planting fodder, wheat or vegetables suitable for the warm coastal areas, which will inevitably succeed as the citrus lands are fertile and irrigated lands.
Bushra Barhoum-Ghossoub Abboud