TREES The Critic At Large … (No. 29)

Posted by on 18. März 2012

Weihrauch

Incense as it is used in the church ...

Weihrauch

... and an incense tree in Somalia

Incense is tapped from the bark of the Boswellia tree in Somalia and Yemen (mainly). They slash the bark, the tree bleeds the raisin – and tapped trees produce seeds that germinate at only 16 %. In other words: The church and the parfume industry need so much incense that the trees don’t reproduce and the grown ones die. In a few years one of the oldest trades on earth, mentioned in the Bible and being the source of wealth for the Queen of Saba, King Solomon and others, comes to a stillstand and Boswellia continues to live on pictures only. Do we need incense? I don’t know. Obviously natural incense is so much better than the chemical substitute (compare it to ivory and plastic) and because there is such a (well paid) demand, the incense collectors treat the trees like dead animals. This I wanted to tell you …

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