81-Year-Old Japanese Philhellene to Save Hippocrates’ Tree on Kos

Αn 81-year-old Japanese man has taken the initiative to save the aging Hippocrates’ plane tree on the island of Kos.

In its present condition, the aging plane tree; platanos in Greek, cannot live longer than 25 years, scientists say.

The Japanese philhellene; phytopathologist Tetsuya Okada, who is an expert
on the treatment of plants with similar diseases, estimates that by taking appropriate measures; such as unloading roots from unnecessary weight, the life of the tree can be lengthened for centuries.

Okada visited Kos on Tuesday and spoke with the coordinator of the Decentralized Aegean Administration, Nikos Theodoridis. He had been on the island two years ago with a group of plant specialists, and since then, they have prepared a  study on the subject.

The study, has been sent to the Ministry of Rural Development and is under approval procedures.

Once the study is approved, the Japanese phytopathologist will launch a campaign to find the necessary resources to do the work required.

According to myth, Hippocrates taught his disciples under this particular plane tree on Kos. It is also believed that Paul the Apostle, taught under the tree.

The tree is a listed monument of nature since 1985 (Government Gazette 589 / B / 1985).

Platanos is located in Platanos Square, in front of the Knights’ Castle and the Governor’s Office, next to the Gazi Hassan Mosque (erected in 1776) in the center of Kos town.

The current tree is about 500 years old and is likely to be the descendant of the original tree that was there at the time of Hippocrates.

Over the centuries, the tree’s trunk and older branches have deteriorated due to various fungi and wood insects, which has resulted in a large crack in its interior.