The Spindar Tree in Iraqi Kurdistan

During my 2013 fieldwork in Duhok I came across a tall strange looking tree type that stood out from the others, both from the ground and on satellite images. I was told its name was “Spindar” and that it was used in cellulose production, but nobody could tell me the English or Latin name for it. It was clearly not a wild growing species.

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Spindar tree plantation in Duhok

It was difficult to find information about this tree so I contacted my physical geography teacher who knows a lot about almost everything. In disucssion with him we figured out that this Spindar tree most likely was a Populus nigra, or a variety of it. After some googling I found this book that mentioned Spindar as the arabic name for Poplar (which is the English name for it).

I  never used this information for anything, but I figured that more people might wonder about this Spindar tree, so a blog post about it might be helpful.

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2 thoughts on “The Spindar Tree in Iraqi Kurdistan

  1. Hi Lina,
    Thank you for this article. I really appreciate this. I could not find nay thing about Spindar.

    As Kurdish grow in place that native to this tree I have so much love and affection for Spindar. this Tree may grow other places such as causes or Eastern Europe but we have always considerd Spindar as our national tree. It is exist in all parts of Kurdistan(Bakur,Basur,Rojhilat and Rojava)

    In relation the name “Spindar” In fact the name is Kurdish not Arabic. It is combined from two words

    Spin + Dar ( Kurdish branch of Indo_European b languages, It have alot common words other European languages. ) . The word Spin in Kurdish as well as in English means turn round(twisted). Dar in Kurdish means Tree. Therefore Spindar==Spin tree .

    One theory I think of from my childhood memory is that Spindar have such clear circle(spin) when tree is cut off. Then by viewing the cut area ,the age of tree is visible. Because I believe it is base of number of spins. each spin represent one year

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