Why it is crucial to increase flora biodiversity in Belarus

“Humanity has already lost half of its forests with an area the size of Greece disappearing every year. However, more and more people around the globe are embracing reforestation turning the degraded forests into a “landscape of opportunities” that are immense. We believe that ideas can transform landscapes!”

The Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration, GPFLR


“The flora of the Republic of Belarus is thought to be not rich in trees and bushes, thus it is insufficient to satisfy the needs in planting stock of today’s green construction and forestry, and that is why it is crucial to diversify native flora introducing species relevant for the economy”. Reference


Belarus has only 28 species of trees: 


  • Pine (60%)
  • Birch (20%)


The remaining 20% are the following:


  • Spruce (is becoming extinct due to diseases)
  • Oak
  • Elm
  • Aspen
  • Lime
  • Chestnut (is becoming extinct due to diseases)
  • Maple
  • Rowan
  • Poplar
  • Ash
  • other 12 species…


Belarus has 104 species of woody plants, including 28 species of trees (e.g. Germany has 90 tree species). A pine (Pinus) is the most widespread species covering around 60% of forests, a birch (Betula) takes up around 20%. With the development of cities, industry, road and reclamative construction, the flora of today’s Belarus has drastically changed. In a century, 70 species of plants have gone extinct, the spread of several species has reduced. Reference.


Coniferous trees in Belarus are suffering from diseases and wither in huge numbers. Reference


Botanists are raising the alarm: chestnut trees in Belarusian cities will have to be replanted soon. Reference


Adventive (not native) species most widely spread in Belarus:


  • European barberry
  • Dwarf cherry
  • Sweet William
  • Tatarian honeysuckle
  • Weymouth pine
  • White, balsam, Siberian fir
  • Colorado spruce
  • Siberian, Scots pine
  • Manchurian walnut
  • European, Siberian, Japanese larch
  • Northern red oak
  • Black locust
  • Siberian pea-tree
  • Poplar
  • Savin juniper
  • Thuya
  • Rhododendron
  • Common lilac
  • White willow
  • Mayday tree
  • Aspen
  • Grey alder
  • European white birch
  • etc.


Introduced species are essential for the flora in Belarus!

“Both native and adventive woody species from around the globe are being currently used in greening activities throughout Belarus” (“Introduction of woody species”, BSTU, 2014).


Lida region will have the most ancient trees on Earth – Ginkgo biloba. Forestry administration in Lida will plant the most ancient tree species. These trees are globally important natural monuments included into the IUCN Red List. Reference


Ginkgo biloba is available for sale almost in every nursery in Belarus: Deal.by, Sagenec, Ideas, Procvetok, Dolinasad, Zelensad.


Minsk Botanical Garden has been actively cultivating Ginkgos as well. Anton Alekhna, a scientific worker in the Central Botanical Garden of the National Academy of Sciences, advises everyone to grow Ginkgo biloba. Reference


In Gomel Park was the first to see Ginkgo biloba tree burst into blossom. Reference


The value of Ginkgo biloba tree. Reference


“These are the only species that survived through the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. All the other trees burned down, Ginkgo was the only tree to have coppice shoots… The tree is not widespread in Belarus as it was wrongly assumed not to winter in our climate. As of today, Ginkgos are found in Gori-Goretsk Botanical Garden, Gomel Recreation Park, Gorka Arboretum, the NAS Central Botanical Garden, Belarusian State Technological University in Minsk and Brest State University”. Reference