A pistachio tree, estimated to be 600-700 years old, is protected and cared for by neighborhood residents in Turkey’s most important pistachio cultivation center, the southeastern Gaziantep province.

At least six century-old pistachio tree, located on a field belonging to Ferhat Demir, a resident of the Bagbasi neighborhood of the Sehitkamil district, draws attention with a body of approximately five-meter (18-feet) width and a length of around seven meters (23 feet).

The local people collectively do the pruning, hoeing, and fertilization of the tree, which they see as the common asset of the neighborhood.

Hakan Marakoglu, the local director of agriculture and forestry, told Anadolu Agency that the tree in the neighborhood still yields approximately 200 kilograms (440.9 pounds) of pistachio per year.

He said they are working to register the tree which was damaged after a streak of lightning.

Veysel Sahin Kadi, the village headman, said everyone comes together, the young and old, to take care of the tree, adding: “We are trying to keep our tree alive. It is said that the history of the tree is the founding date of our village. Everyone in the neighborhood is protecting the tree and we try to avoid any harm to it.”

Defining the pistachio tree as a “historical monument,” Demir said it belongs to everyone in the neighborhood.

*Writing by Burak Bir

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