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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Poisoning Trees to Produce the Most Expensive Wood in the World

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IV drips are used to give poison when making the most costly wood in the world, despite the fact that IV therapy is typically linked with treating ailments.

A few pictures of massive IV drips filled with an unsettling-looking liquid hanging from trees went viral on Chinese social media about a week ago, eliciting a wide range of responses from people.

Others were convinced that it was a real treatment method intended to protect the trees from fungi or other parasites, while some questioned whether it was an art installation intended to raise awareness about the widespread deforestation taking place on a global scale or about the human-made pollution killing plant life.

Some even claimed that the bags contained human pee and that it was vandalism. These theories were all found to be false.

Credits: Road Observation Academy/Fb

The two images, which were first shared on the “Road Observation Academy” Facebook group, showed dozens of sizable IV bags dangling from tree branches and green tubes inserted into tree trunks with big needles.

However, it turns out that the substance in the bags is not a remedy but rather a poison intended to trigger the tree’s self-defense response and, as a result, produce the most costly wood in the world.

A highly rare variety of agarwood (oud) called kynam, or “kyara” as it is known in Asia, is employed in the perfume and incense industries for its complex and strong aroma.

Intriguingly, the aquilaria tree’s heartwood is comparatively odorless, yet under specific circumstances, the tree produces a form of black resin that is used to make expensive agarwood. And this is where IV treatment is useful.

Credits: Road Observation Academy/Fb

Humans have known for hundreds of years that aquilaria only produces agarwood in reaction to a specific kind of stress; however, this stress has only recently been recognized as being caused by a mold called “phialophora parasitica.”

Aquilaria trees can be purposely infected with this parasite to increase the production of the valuable resin. As a result, agarwood plantations can be found all throughout Asia, from Indonesia to Myanmar and Vietnam.

Agarwood from plantations is still regarded as one of the most expensive materials in the world, although not being as expensive as agarwood from the wild, which can be hundreds of years old.

Source:1, 2, 3.

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