The terebinth tree is an integral part of Geroskipou’s cultural heritage, as it provides the resin for the well-known “pafitiki pissa” (Paphos chewing gum).
And Geroskipou is reciprocating with programmes aiming to protect and highlight the tree’s importance to the economy and the cultural heritage of the region.
The name of the village Tremithousa or Tremithia in the Paphos district, as well as many place-names (tremithas, tremithos etc.) derive from “tremithos” — as the terebinth or Pistacia atlantica is commonly called in Cyprus.
As part of a Geroskipou municipality programme to protect the terebinth trees, pupils from Ayia Paraskevi Geroskipou High School carried out a project on terebinth trees, taking a look back in time into the production of Paphos chewing gum.
The production centre for Paphos gum is Geroskipou, which is home to small cottage industries that still follow the traditional production method, according to the pupils’ project.
In Cyprus, nine terebinth trees are protected and designated as tree monuments, upon the initiative of Geroskipou municipality and the Forestry Department, as part of efforts to protect the species.
Usually, terebinth trees occur in abandoned fields and rocky slopes; they are also frequent in oak woodlands. Single trees or groups of trees occur in the Akamas peninsula, in Paphos and Limassol districts, at Kiti village and elsewhere. Furthermore, it can be found as a cultivated tree in parks and roadside plantations, such as along the Nicosia-Limassol highway.