The mastiha tree is a trademark of Chios and the main source of income for many residents on the Greek island. Its cultivation started in ancient times as the trees produce a rare resin in the shape of teardrops, which is largely exported around the world.
But today, some old or abandoned mastiha trees on the island need a regeneration. This is where the new environmental project, ‘Adopt a Chios Mastiha tree,’ comes into the picture.
Launched in 2019 by Chios local, Lenia Ziglaki, the project aims to help Greek diaspora connect with the traditional process of mastiha cultivation, as well as ensure the future growth of the tree.
“The cultivation of Mastiha has been included by UNESCO in its list of the ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’,” the website reads.
“By adopting a Chios Mastiha Tree, you will enter a world full of aroma, tastes, but also of hard work.”
Once someone adopts a Chios Mastiha tree, they will receive: (1) an Adoption Certificate, (2) 50 grams of natural Chios Mastiha, and (3) a photograph of their tree with a characteristic sign-board on it, specially designed for the adoptee.
And fear not, if you are unable to visit your tree, know that it will be well looked after by the project volunteers who work day and night to complete the cultivation process of soil spreading, vein carving, sifting, washing and cleaning.
Only the best for a mastiha tree which remains iconic to the island of Chios.