Called Booune in the Kashmiri language, the Chinar tree is an integral part of Kashmiri culture. Almost every village in the valley has a Chinar tree. You can experience a cool breeze under the shadow of this majestic tree which is very conducive to health.
It is unfortunate that in recent years the number of Chinar trees is decreasing. It is no wonder that if the present trend continues, the day is not far-off when the tree will see its extinction from the land of Kashmir. However, it is heartening to note the government is making its honest best to stop the illegal felling of this great tree of Kashmir.
Chinar is a gigantic sized tree, found growing throughout valley. Its scientific name is platanus orientalis. Its family is plataneae. A deciduous tree, Chinar traces its origin to Greece. Its incredible beauty has to be seen to be believed. The tree is at its most elegance and exuberance during autumn. Though its majesty can be seen all through the year. Iqbal, the poet of the East, traces the warmth of the Kashmir soil to the “blaze of Chinars it nurses in its bosom”.
Chinar grows up to a height of 25 meters and a girth exceeding 50 feet in certain cases. This tree with the largest circumference of 60 feet is located at a village named Chattergam in central Kashmir.
These days conscious efforts are being made to undertake plantation of this tree to other states. The tree has been successfully planted in New Delhi, Chandigarh, Dehradun and Meerut. But the size and girth attained in these places are no parallel to those of the tree in Kashmir valley.