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Vegetation of Antalya

The Taurus Mountains are especially abundant in their variety of trees and plants, but they differ at each altitude. This difference can also be explained not only in terms of altitude, but whether the face of the mountain overlooks the sea or even if there are streams nearby. Olive trees, pines, locusts (carobs) and laurel trees grow in lower altitudes closer to the sea level. Juniper trees, the sacred tree of the nomads, become more abundant at higher elevations.

The Turkish pine tree is native to the Mediterranean shores and has a bark almost as thin as a membrane, whereas the European Black Pine tree can withstand the snow and cold, thanks to its thick, insulating bark.

Trees are just like human society: they do not want intruders in their environment. Each tree species tends to grow together in its own habitat. The legendary tree of the Mediterranean, the Cedar tree, grows from an altitude of 1000 meters until the tree line of the Taurus Mountains at 1600 meters. The cedar is to trees, what the eagle is to birds. No bird flies higher than the eagle, as no tree grows higher than the cedar tree. Trees found in lower elevations share their habitat with other tree species, but the cedar tree is unique in that it grows on its own and does not share its habitat with any other tree species.

The deep passes of the Köprüçay (Eurymedon) River basin, below the ancient city of Zerk (Selge) perched high on hill, are the only places in the world where wild Cypress trees can be found in isolation.

The Oak is the tree of Zeus, the father of Gods. The oak tree, a symbol of power and nobility, becomes a center of attraction wherever it grows. It is extensively spread in the Kasaba Ravine to the north of Kaş district.

Oak trees are heavily concentrated in Kızıllı village and neighbouring areas east of Döşemealtı. This density is so intense that until recent times Kızıllı village was referred to as “the village where the sun didn’t shine”.

Another area where the presence of oak trees is quiet widespread are the pastures on the south of Lake Kovada. The trees are an indispensable part of the landscape where squirrels, birds and other animals feed from its acorns. Both the tree and the forest create a special environment in the area.