University looks forward to 'sweet and juicy' oranges on campus
East China Normal University planted 60 orange trees over the weekend to mark China's 45th Tree-Planting Day.
The 10-15-year-old trees, gifts from Huangyan District of Taizhou City in Zhejiang Province, were planted in 1,700sqm on the university's campus in Minhang District. Students and faculty are expecting a good harvest next year.
Huangyan tangerines are known for their sweet and juicy taste since the Tang Dynasty (618–907) days, and emperors would receive them as tributes. It came to be known as the "king of oranges" during the Song Dynasty (960–1279).
Huangyan, formerly Yongning, has a high salt content and water table and used to be frequently flooded during rainy and typhoon seasons, making it unsuitable for growing tangerines.
However, over 1,700 years ago, locals developed techniques for building mounds out of river mud in the winter and planting orange trees on top of the mounds in the spring.
It can efficiently utilize the humus and mineral nutrition in the mud while letting the salt content be carried away by rain.
They also use tidewater and fresh water to irrigate the trees, which improves the sweetness and quality of the fruits.
East China Normal University has a close relationship with Huangyan Normal University because its third president graduated from East China Normal University.
He Jingye, a well-known Chinese-French translator and East China Normal University professor, was born in Huangyan.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the university's school of foreign languages.
The tree-planting activity enabled students to learn not only about the Huangyan culture but also tree-planting traditions in other countries, such as Arbor Day in the United States and National Tree Week in the United Kingdom.