China's sacred mountain encourages public to 'adopt' ancient trees

Aerial photo taken on May 20, 2019 shows the scenery of Taishan Mountain in Tai'an city, East China's Shandong province.(Photo: Xinhua)

JINAN -- More than 200 ancient and precious trees in Taishan Mountain, a popular UNESCO World Heritage site in East China's Shandong province, are available for public adoption, local authorities said.

People can adopt trees aged above 100 years or the precious ones with historical, cultural and scientific significance growing on the mountain, according to the management committee of the Taishan Mountain scenic area.

Adopters will be granted a tree adoption certificate, and they can put up a signboard with their names on it without disturbing the surrounding environment of the trees, the management committee said.

The adoption fee for each old tree ranges from 1,000 yuan (about $153) to more than 10,000 yuan. The money will be used for the maintenance, protection and scientific research related to the trees growing on the Taishan Mountain.

"The adoption program aims to raise public awareness of protecting old trees," said Song Hongbing, head of the heritage protection bureau of the scenic area, adding that the ancient trees are living fossils and an important part of the mountain's history and culture.

More ancient trees on the Taishan Mountain will be available for public adoption in the future, according to Song.

Taishan Mountain or Mount Tai is one of the sacred mountains in China. It has always been a source of inspiration for Chinese artists and scholars and symbolizes ancient Chinese civilizations and beliefs.

The mountain is home to more than 18,000 ancient and precious trees.