Toyama to plant first pollen-free cedar in fall

Kyodo

Some 5,000 saplings of a new pollen-free cedar tree developed in Toyama Prefecture are set to be planted this fall to be used in the forestry industry, raising hopes that the new tree could help alleviate pollen allergies while securing needed lumber.

The newly developed cedar, Tateyama Mori no Kagayaki (Tateyama Forest Glitter), is the first pollen-free cedar tree in Japan to be developed from its seed and has succeeded in mass production, according to the prefectural forestry institute.

Tateyama Mori no Kagayaki dates back to 1992, when the prefecture discovered the existence of a pollen-free cedar in its forest. After interbreeding the cedar with another that was resilient to disease, the prefectural institute succeeded in developing the new kind, which is both pollen-free and disease-resistant.

The institute is scheduled to plant 10,000 young trees in 2014 and 30,000 in 2015 and 2016, respectively, in a cedar forest where trees have been cut down. Although several municipalities have made inquiries with Toyama Prefecture about purchasing the new tree, it has not been able to meet the demand because of the time and cost needed to nurture saplings.

But the institute has said it will continue to develop the technology to boost the number of the pollen-free cedar trees.