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Pine trees in Yamagata park get protective coat for winter

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Workers wrap a straw mat around a pine tree at Tsuruoka Park in Tsuruoka, Yamagata Prefecture, on Oct. 22.

TSURUOKA, Yamagata — Straw mats were wrapped around pine trees at a park in Tsuruoka, Yamagata Prefecture, on Oct. 22. The annual practice, which started in 1963, is meant to protect the trees from insects during the winter.

Tsuruoka Park has 84 pine trees, including red pine and black pine trees.

The city’s human resources center for the elderly, which has been entrusted with maintaining and managing the park, sent six workers that day. They worked in pairs and tied straw mats around the trunks of the trees.

“With more people coming to the park recently, I want to keep the trees in good shape, so people will say they’re beautiful,” said one of the workers, Sogo Iida, 82.