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Pistacia atlantica
Mt. Atlas mastic tree

Mt. Atlas mastic tree (Pistacia atlantica) is a small, slow-growing and long-living deciduous tree with a native range from Iran to North Africa.

The tree is native to areas where only few other tree species grow, which has led to it being exploited locally for timber and to a subsequent decrease in its natural habitat. Today, the species is mostly found in the mountainous regions of Iran. The tree is often used as a rootstock for Pistacia vera, which produces the pistachio nut. Resin and oils from the tree’s fruit are edible and used in traditional medicine, perfumes and for manufacturing alcohol. The tree is also planted as an ornamental in parks and along roadsides near the Black Sea and in warm regions of North America. Additionally, the tree is used for reforestation and to prevent soil erosion on steep slopes.

The tree requires abundant light and deep, well-drained and light soils but is able to tolerate drought. It is usually found in mixed stands with oak on hillsides up to 1500 m.

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