Cajuput trees dominate the vegetation at the Tram Chim National Park in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - The Dong Thap Province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is afforesting 155ha under a province plan to grow forests through 2020.

It is also planting another three million trees around the province.

Most of the trees being planted are local or Australian cajuput.

Ho Anh Dung, Deputy Director of the department, said the two species are suitable for growing in low-lying, flood-prone areas and alum affected soil.

Every year during the flood season, cajuput trees live in inundated areas for three to five months, he said.

Dong Thap is one of the most flooded provinces in the Mekong Delta when the Mekong River and its tributaries rise between August and November.

In the past cajuput trees were planted on flat lands which caused them to grow slowly – taking 10-12 years for harvest - and yield less timber.

But now they are grown on ridges, which helps rid the soil of alum, increases yield and reduces harvest period to six to nine years.

Dong Thap is buying cajuput seedlings from Long An and Dong Nai provinces since its own output is not enough.

This year cajuput farmers in Dong Thap have made big profits since tree prices have increased.

In July traders bought four-five-year-old cajuput trees in Dong Thap’s Thap Muoi District at 100-110 million VND (4,500 – 5,000 USD) per hectare, giving farmers profits of 70 -80 million VND.

The province has more than 5,600ha of forests, including more than 2,580ha of special use forests, 1,000ha of protective forests and 1,980ha of commercial forests, according to the provincial People’s Committee.-VNA