After decades of decline the tall old cedars lining Vali Asr Avenue, the main artery of the Iranian capital, have become the focus of a city revitalization project.

Ali Mohammad Mokhtari, CEO of Parks and Green Spaces of the City of Tehran announced the approval of a project to replenish the remaining old cedars on Vali Asr Avenue as well as to plant new ones to replace the many trees that have fallen and died in the past decades. 

Mokhtari was quoted in a Sharvand website report saying that cedars with 'high roots' are to be planted in between the old tree rows where dead ones have been removed.

It has been over a decade that a high number of the old cedars on Vali Asr Avenue, the longest street in the Middle East and also famous for its old trees, have died and been stricken down by disease. Right now, only the north half of the avenue has kept its beauty.

On October 9, Mokhtari delivered a report on the situation of urban green spaces at Tehran City Council announcing that the plan to revitalize Vali Asr Avenue's trees has been approved and will soon be implemented.

He reported that the City has bought and imported new equipment to carry out the project. The equipment was reportedly imported from Germany and are now in the disposal of the Parks and Green Spaces giving them the capabilities to transport the old giant logs.

Mokhtari added that the young trees will be from Tehran area. "Saplings will withstand the ordeal of transportation and relocation better when they are from the same habitat." The planting will begin this winter as the trees go into their winter sleep.

As to how many of the trees on Vali Asr are sick, the CEO replied: "The trees are exposed to a number of diseases; however, the remaining ones are mostly healthy. We regard these trees as a priority for being an important part of the City’s historic and natural heritage. The establishment of the Vali Asr Avenue's Trees Organization and Preservation Committee in recent years is a direct product of the high regard for these trees.”

About 90 years ago some 30,000 trees were planted on each side of Vali Asr Avenue within a distance of one meter from one another to a total of 60,000.

Some 7 decades later the number of the trees was estimated at 11,500 and 9 years later the numbers had dropped further down to 9,000. Today only 8,000 of the cedars remain which includes some disease affected ones.

A few years ago the City began to plant seedlings next to old trees to remedy the declining number of trees but they did not survive.