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Fresh batch of 670 pine trees found poisoned in Vietnam’s Central Highlands

Friday, November 16, 2018, 11:33 GMT+7
Fresh batch of 670 pine trees found poisoned in Vietnam’s Central Highlands
A section of the pine tree forest in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong is dying because of herbicides. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Another 674 pine trees located within a protection forest in Vietnam’s Central Highlands have been found being poisoned with herbicide after hundreds of such trees were killed by the same method late last year.

Le Khac Phuc, vice-chairman of the administration in Gia Lam Commune, Lam Ha District, Lam Dong Province, confirmed on Wednesday that the situation happened across a 1.6 hectare section of the Nam Ban protection forest.

Protection forests help mitigate or prevent the impacts of a natural hazard, including erosion, landslides, or flashfloods, on people and their assets in mountainous areas.

The culprits appeared to have drilled a small hole in each of the tree trunks before injecting the chemical, making it difficult for competent authorities to notice the sabotage.

A small hole is drilled on the tree trunk to inject the poison. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A small hole is drilled in the tree trunk to inject the poison. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Forest protection officers were aware of the situation when they discovered several empty bottles of herbicide near the poisoned trees.

Multiple units have been promptly mobilized to save the pine trees.

The damage will be announced next week, a local official stated, adding that a report of the case has been submitted to the forest protection office of Lam Ha District.

It is quite common for pine trees in Lam Dong Province to be poisoned with weedkiller in order to make space for agricultural activities.

An empty bottle of weedkiller is found on the ground. Photo: Tuoi Tre
An empty bottle of weedkiller is found on the ground. Photo: Tuoi Tre

“People often commit the act late at night. They use special drills with sound attenuation mechanism,” said Ho Canh Minh, manager of the forest.

Once being injected with the poison, the trees would die slowly in about three weeks, without showing any obvious symptoms, until it is too late.

It was not clear when those 674 trees had been injected with pesticides.

In September 2017, about 210 pine trees in the same district were discovered being poisoned with weedkiller. About 170 of them could not recover.

Around a month later, more than 150 pine trees in Da Lat, a popular resort in Lam Dong, were found suffering a similar fate.

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Duy Khang / Tuoi Tre News

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