Vietnam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment (VACNE) accredited a group of nine century-old Cho Chi trees in northern Ha Giang province, as Vietnamese heritage tree.

The copse has stump diameters ranging from 1 – 2 meters and an average height of 40 metres. The biggest tree is estimated to be aged 500 – 600 years.

The national recognition plays a vital role in better protecting the priceless plants as well as the rich ecosystem of the local poor mountainous Phu Nam commune in Bac Me District.

Cho Chi (scientific name: Parashorea chinensis), a species of large tree which can reach up to 80 meters, is found in northern Vietnam and in southern China. Threatened by overexploitation for its good wood, the species has been named in the Vietnam’s red book.

In 2011, the VACNE launched a programme to conserve Vietnam Heritage Trees, aiming to select and honour the country’s heritage trees in a bid to conserve their gene sources, while raising public awareness of protecting the environment.

It also contributes to promoting the diversification and abundance of Vietnam’s flora as well as developing scientific research in the field.

To win the honour, the trees must be at least 200 years old in the case of wild trees, and at least 100 years for those planted. Moreover, the trees should be connected with the historical and cultural characteristics of the area where they grow.

Those which do not meet the aforesaid criteria yet have special values in science, history or culture, will also earn recognition.

The number of recognised Heritage Trees is currently around 700.-VNA