Baramulla: Despite government orders to remove Russian poplar trees across the Kashmir valley years ago, the flying poplar seed has engulfed many areas of north Kashmir.
The poplar seed, with cotton like appearance, is known to cause allergies in people.
With the summer approaching, areas in Baramulla, Sopore, Kunzar, Rafiabad, Sangrama, Patten, Narvaw, Kandi, Wagoora, Handwara, Kupwara and Bandipora are facing the menace of poplar seeds.
People blame the district administrations of failing to check the plantation of Russian poplars (Rusi Phrass), which they said was increasing despite clear cut orders from the High Court to cut down the trees.
The Russian poplars became popular in Kashmir during 1980’s because of its quick growth compared to the Kashmiri variety. While the Russian poplars grow into a big harvest ready tree in 14 to 18 years, a Kashmir poplar takes around 30 to 35 years.
The wood from Russian poplars is used in plywood industry and allied business like preparing wooden boxes for apple packing.
The name Russian poplar (Russi Phrass) is a misnomer term and has nothing to do with Russia.
Every year the female poplar called (populous deltoids) bears cotton-like substance and is blown off by winds causing allergy and aggravates respiratory disorders.