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People dodge PM’s ban on trading wild peach blossom trees in northern Vietnam

Saturday, January 02, 2021, 17:05 GMT+7
People dodge PM’s ban on trading wild peach blossom trees in northern Vietnam
Men carry peach blossom trees' trunks with roots in Dang Cuong Commune of An Duong District, Hai Phong City, Vietnam, January 2021. Photo: Ngoc Anh / Tuoi Tre

A large number of age-old peach blossom trees have been traded from the northern mountainous region to northern Hai Phong City in recent days, despite the Prime Minister’s ban announced last month.

In Dang Cuong Commune of An Duong District - which is famous for growing peach blossom trees in the city, hundreds of the tree trunks with roots have been left lying along the local streets, waiting for buyers.

They were uprooted and transported from the northern mountainous region, mostly from Van Ho and Moc Chau Districts of northern Son La Province, according to local growers - who offer them at VND500,000 (US$21.6) to over VND1 million ($43.3) apiece.

“Pick the one you like, all are worthy,” said a trader when a Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper correspondent visited her garden of 180 peach blossom trees with roots.

“Loudspeakers propagate the ban on cutting wild peach blossom trees all day there [Son La Province], so it was difficult to buy them,” the trader added.

Peach blossom trees' trunks with roots lie on a street in Dang Cuong Commune of An Duong District, Hai Phong City, Vietnam, January 2021. Photo: Ngoc Anh / Tuoi Tre
Peach blossom trees with roots lie on a street in Dang Cuong Commune of An Duong District, Hai Phong City, Vietnam, January 2021. Photo: Ngoc Anh / Tuoi Tre

That trader made a reference to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s ban on cutting down wild peach blosson trees, which grow naturally in the wild, for the upcoming Lunar New Year, or Tet, celebrations.

Phuc first mentioned the ban at a conference of the agriculture sector on December 24, 2020 as he was concerned that people will trade wild peach bonsai trees, which are popular traditional decoration for Tet in Vietnam, for money.

“How can the mountainous areas stay natural with beautiful forests!” VnExpress news site quoted the government chief as saying.

Peach blossom trees' trunks with roots lie on a street in Dang Cuong Commune of An Duong District, Hai Phong City, Vietnam, January 2021. Photo: Ngoc Anh / Tuoi Tre
Peach blossom trees' trunks with roots lie on a street in Dang Cuong Commune of An Duong District, Hai Phong City, Vietnam, January 2021. Photo: Ngoc Anh / Tuoi Tre

The PM requested localities to beef up the control and strictly handle the cases of illegal lodging of wild peach blossom trees and transporting them to urban areas.

Vietnamese Minister and Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung on December 26, 2020 further clarified that the PM’s prohibition does not apply to the purchase and sale of peach blossom trees that are planted in gardens by people.

Therefore, the Prime Minister’s order seems to be counterproductive as gardeners and traders have since rushed to bring as many as peach blossom trees from the mountainous region to the urban localities as possible and turn them into homegrown, with the scramble in Dang Cuong Commune being an example.

A gardener introduces peach blossom trees' trunks with roots to a customer in Dang Cuong Commune of An Duong District, Hai Phong City, Vietnam, January 2021. Photo: Ngoc Anh / Tuoi Tre
A gardener introduces peach blossom tree trunks with roots to a customer in Dang Cuong Commune of An Duong District, Hai Phong City, Vietnam, January 2021. Photo: Ngoc Anh / Tuoi Tre
Men carry peach blossom trees' trunks with roots in Dang Cuong Commune of An Duong District, Hai Phong City, Vietnam, January 2021. Photo: Ngoc Anh / Tuoi Tre
Men carry peach blossom trees' trunks with roots in Dang Cuong Commune of An Duong District, Hai Phong City, Vietnam, January 2021. Photo: Ngoc Anh / Tuoi Tre
A giant peach blossom tree's trunk with roots is unloaded from a truck in Dang Cuong Commune of An Duong District, Hai Phong City, Vietnam, January 2021. Photo: Ngoc Anh / Tuoi Tre
A giant peach blossom tree's trunk with roots is unloaded from a truck in Dang Cuong Commune of An Duong District, Hai Phong City, Vietnam, January 2021. Photo: Ngoc Anh / Tuoi Tre

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