The Argan tree or the scientific name Argania Spinosa grows in no other part of the world except in the semi-desert southwestern region of Morocco in North Africa. It symbolizes the Tree of Life among the nomadic Berbers i.e. the people of Amazigh, as it has uplifted their standard of living in the region.
The Amazigh people who originally inhabited the southwestern part of Morocco in North Africa are said to be the first who had discovered the Argan oil. They had traditionally used the oil as an all-natural treatment for the body, including skin, hair and nails.
The Argan tree can reach a height of up to 10 metres with leafy parts width of about 4 metres. Basically the Argan tree has a long life span of up to 200 years. It yields fruits up to a period of 50 to 60 years time. The tree is a bit thorny, which makes fruit picking difficult. It is green in color with gnarled trunks. Very resistant to hot and dry weather and able to withstand high temperature over 50 degrees. Argan tree normally flowers in spring and bears fruits of olive fruit’s size. In later part of summer, the Argan fruits which have dried and fallen on ground are then collected for further process.
The Arganeraie forests are bordered by the Morocco mountains ranges of Grand Atlas – Little Atlas Mountains, and are opened to the Atlantic Ocean in the west. The forests area which had been listed in 1999 as one of the ‘World Heritage’ was also designated as the Unesco Biosphere reserve. However it is reported that it had become shrunk by 50 % over the last 100 years due to extensive agricultural activities, charcoal-making, grazing and deforestation activities for fuel