Hai Duong province moves to conserve ancestral lychee tree hinh anh 1The “ancestral lychee tree” in Thanh Ha district is almost 200 years old (Photo: VNA)

Hai Duong (VNA) – Thanh Ha district of northern Hai Duong province is taking steps to conserve and utilise the genetic resource of an almost-200-year-old lychee tree believed to be the origin of the local lychee specialty.

Local people said Hoang Van Com, a resident in Thuy Lam hamlet of Thanh Son commune, in Thanh Ha district, planted the first lychee tree in the locality nearly two centuries ago.

In October 1992, this tree was recognised as the “ancestral lychee tree” by the Vietnam Gardening Association. It still bears fruit to this day, but has shown some growth problems.

Pham Khac Dung, deputy head of the economy and infrastructure division of Thanh Ha district, said conservation activities for the tree will be carried out in 2019 and 2020 at a total cost of 668 million VND (over 28,700 USD). 

At first, relevant sides will assess the tree’s situation and apply technical measures like pruning branches, fertilising in accordance with growth stages, and preventing pests and diseases. Later, the tree will be propagated from its cuttings, he noted.

He added that aside from increasing trade promotion measures, the conservation of the ancestral tree is hoped to help improve the value of the Thanh Ha lychee brand and expand the market for this specialty. The tree is also expected to become a unique tourist attraction in the lychee harvest season in Thanh Ha district.

Thanh Ha lychees have been shipped to many markets around the world. During the 2018 harvest, the district exported some 16,000 tonnes of lychees.–VNA