Hundreds of ancient trees in Tra Vinh city, which is described as the "Green City" of the Mekong Delta region, could be at risk of death, experts warn. (Photo: tuoitre.vn)

Tra Vinh (VNA)
- Hundreds of ancient trees in Tra Vinh city, which is described as the "Green City" of the Mekong Delta region, could be at risk of death, experts warn.

The warning came as a survey conducted by experts from the Australian Institute of Horticulture, HCM City University of Agriculture and Forestry, and other specialists showed that as many as 420 old trees weren’t growing well.

The trees suffering include tamarind, dau (dipterocarpus alatus), and sao (hopea odorata) trees. Dau and sao trees, valued for their wood, are threatened species in their natural habitat.

Experts blame the construction of concrete pavements and improper care, which limit photosynthesis and water absorption, decreasing plant vitality.

According to Pham Tiet Khoa, chairman of the Tra Vinh Urban Works Company – which manages all trees in the city, the affected trees don’t have many leaves and are not a healthy green. Trees on Pham Hong Thai, Nam Ky Khoi Nghia and Tran Quoc Tuan streets are affected the most.

Local resident Le Cong Sy said the affected trees seemed less green and healthy in recent years. Their leaves turned yellow in rainy or dry season, and branches often fell off, he said.

Diep Van Thanh, chairman of the People’s Committee of the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh, said authorities of Tra Vinh City proposed a project to maintain old trees to 2020, at an initial cost of 20 billion VND (893,600 USD). The project is expected to begin next month.

Local authorities also suggested the provincial People’s Committee direct relevant agencies who lay underground power cables to avoid damaging tree root.

Tra Vinh city is home to over 13,690 trees. Of these, about 800 trees are more than 100 years old, including tamarind, dipterocarpus alatus and hopea odorata trees.-VNA