At the high altitueds and in the desert like conditions of Qinghai, few trees can grow. Poplar trees are so hardy that they out perform all others, growing at extreme heights and in very dry conditions. The poplar trees of Qinghai are an essencial part of the environment, forming a barrier to the wind and preventing erosion.
In the Tuolehai region in the north west of the Aerkequke Grassland, can be found the highest elevation of poplar trees anywhere in the world. The forest here, which covers some 1700 mu, has been recognised as a provincial level nature reserve since the year 2000.
Above: Location of Poplar Woods in Qinghai, China