Philippine Native Christmas Tree – Arius (Podocarpus Costalis)
The tree, known as Arius (Podocarpus costalis), is endemic in Batanes. It serves as an excellent ornamental tree often used by the Ivatans as a Christmas tree during the Yuletide season.
The tree, which grows 1-2.5 meters in height, is abundantly growing in the province and is mainly used for its aesthetics value. It is being grown in the provincial park and town plazas, school grounds, church yards, backyards, along roads, and other paraded areas of the province for better appreciation of their landscape.
During Christmas season, the locals trim the Arius to resemble Christmas tree and placed it in their lawns as a decorative accent. Locals also revealed that they used Arius for bonsai, which is excellent for landscaping.
Source: Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Agricultural Research (https://www.bar.gov.ph/index.php/news-and-events/494-2012-06-batanes-berry)
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