Tree-friendly town seeks $900,000 to save old trees from death by urbanization

Thanh Nien News

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Old trees along a road in downtown Tra Vinh in the Mekong Delta. Photo: Phuc Son/VietnamPlus Old trees along a road in downtown Tra Vinh in the Mekong Delta. Photo: Phuc Son/VietnamPlus

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Tra Vinh, the greenest city in the Mekong Delta, is seeking VND20 billion to protect around 420 old trees that are being threatened by rapid urbanization.
A survey by experts from the Australian Institute of Horticulture and Ho Chi Minh City University of Agriculture and Forestry showed that the trees are dying.
They are tamarind, dipterocarpus alatus trees, known in Vietnam as “dau rai,” and hopea odorata trees, or “sao” in Vietnamese. The latter two are endangered in their natural habitat.
Experts said the trees are threatened by concrete sidewalks that prevent their roots from drawing water and other nutrients from the soil, Vietnam Plus reported.
Many tall buildings also limit their exposure to sunlight, they said, blaming improper care for worsening the situation.
Diep Van Thanh, the town chairman, has asked the namesake province, of which Tra Vinh is the capital, for VND20 billion (US$900,000) to save the trees.
He also called on the local electricity company to avoid trimming the trees to make way for cables.
Tra Vinh is known as the most tree-friendly city in the delta and possibly the whole of Vietnam.
Trees are spared in any urban development project in this town, which has around 20,000 trees that are up more than 200 years old. The number recovered from around 1,000 after the war.

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