Students at Masan Senior Middle School in Ryongsong District, Pyongyang, fix nest boxes in the pine-nut tree forest.
“The mountains are under 500 metres above sea level on average. Among them, there is Mt Pingjang forming a forest of 40-odd-year-old towering pine-nut trees,” said Pak Hyok Chol, senior technician at the Ryongsong District Forestry Management Station.
According to him, this pine-nut forest has been cultivated by the students of Masan Senior Middle School in Ryongsong District, Pyongyang.
“The students of our school began to plant pine-nut trees several decades ago. Now over 10 000 trees they planted have formed a forest covering dozens of hectares,” said Mun Chang Ho, principal of the school.
The students in those days, who are now grandfathers and grandmothers, share the joy of harvest together with their grandchildren every year as they tell them the story about the planting and growing of the trees at that time like a legend.
“When I wanted to know how this mountain could thickly be wooded with pine-nut trees, my teacher told me that the mountain is suitable for the growth of pine-nut trees that like cool places and that the green forest owes much to the sincerity of the generations of our grandparents and fathers and mothers,” said Jo Hyon A, a third-year student of senior class.
Broad bellflower, lance asiabell, bracken and other edible herbs grow thickly on the mountain along with pine-nut trees. The mountain is also home to various animals as it has a dense forest.
In the forest students consolidate the knowledge they have learnt at school.
“I feel refreshed by the clean air in the pine-nut forest. When I look at the trees we have planted growing inch by inch, I am very pleasant and develop consciousness to cultivate them more properly,” said Ho Song Hyok, a third-year student of junior class.
The students of Masan Senior Middle School plant many pine-nut trees in spring and autumn every year and lay grass around trees and catch insects after school.
This spring, too, they planted a lot of trees.
Seen in many places of the pine-nut forest are blight forecasting posts set up by the students in order to conserve the forest and every tree has a white nest.
“In the course of planting and growing trees, students also foster the love for the country. Graduates of our school write in their letters that they miss their native village thickly wooded with pine-nut trees and that they will live uprightly to have no feeling of shame in front of their native place,” said teacher Kim Yong Hak.
It is said that a large amount of pine nuts were gathered in Mt Pingjang last year.