The argan oil that comes from the argan tree; Is a tree of its own, paradoxical, on which run all sorts of stories, rumors. It is said to protect various and often extreme feelings, from absolute devotion to pure utilitarian and merchant interest. Argan oil or the argan tree is a tree that does not leave indifferent.
He gives everything, even to the precious nectar of his amandons. But he does not give himself to the first comer. A foreign eye does not distinguish the argan tree from the cedar. Wild olive trees, junipers, almond trees that cover the plains and ocher valleys of southwestern Morocco.
The tree (argan oil) has a secret. At least for the writer Tahr Ben Jelloun who makes one of the characters in his novel Downcast Eyes say: “It is very small tree that gives a fruit as big as an olive.” For us Berbers, This tree is that of our ancestors, it does not grow anywhere else, it is not beautiful, that’s its secret. ”
The wild argan tree that produces argan oil grows only in Morocco, with a few exceptions. From an airplane view, the Arganeraie is a triangle of twenty million argan trees, or 70% of the forests, covering 800,000 hectares. It extends from Safi in the north to the Saharan fringe in the south, from the mouths of the Tensift wadis in the north to the southern Souss, from Mogador to the north, to Agadir in the south, from the slopes of the Anti-Atlas to the north, to the sunny slopes From the High Atlas (up to 1500 meters) to the south. With the exception of the Chiadma in the north of Essaouira of Arab origin, this region is that of the various Berber dynasties, descendants of the Almohads. “For them, the argan tree is simply the” blessed of the gods “tree.
The forest is sparse, one hectare comprising between one hundred and fifty and three hundred strains. The Argan trees grow at a distance from one another. With a clear tendencies to stay between them. The Berbers say they reject the other species of trees. Because it grows, wild, wherever it wants and when it wants, the people of freedom. Numerous transplant attempts have failed. Recently, for the first time, Israel succeeded. No one knows exactly why this tree grows here. It is said that the earth and the semi-arid climate suit it. The tree requires little water. It only rains thirty to fifty days a year on the side of Agadir and Safi, and fifteen days to one month a year south of Souss. The water that is lacking, its immense roots (five times the aerial part) will draw deep under the earth. And he knows how to refresh himself with all the mists, mists and morning dews engendered by the oceanic climate. The cold currents from the canaries “end up saturating” the air with beneficial moisture.
The warm and dry winds, chergui and sirocco blow on average from fourteen days to one month a year, sometimes with great violence. Similarly, temperatures sometimes reach extremes, over 50 ° in the Taroudant region and the Souss plain, less than 0 ° in the mountains. Provided that these excesses are brief, the argan supports them. It is said to have emerged unscathed from the great glaciations, retiring to merge into a smaller territory.
The argan tree is as resistant as the gingko, appeared on Earth 250 million years ago. It is no small saying: the gingko is the only tree to have survived the nuclear breath of Hiroshima.