Treasured trees revered in Central Vietnam

By Sach Nguyen and Hai Binh   May 11, 2017 | 08:11 am GMT+7

Nghe An Province has made protecting its crape myrtle forests a top priority.

treasured-trees-revered-in-central-vietnam

Lying by National Highway 7A, the forest stretches 70 hectares (170 acres) into Tam Dinh Commune, Tuong Duong District.

treasured-trees-revered-in-central-vietnam-1

A UNESCO world biosphere reserve, the forest is one of just a few natural forests left in Vietnam. The country’s forests exceeded 14 million hectares at the end of 2015, covering 40.84 percent of the country, based on government data.

treasured-trees-revered-in-central-vietnam-2

Nghe An Province made the forest a protected area in 2014.

treasured-trees-revered-in-central-vietnam-3

On average, each crape myrtle tree in the forest is 30-40 meters high with a diameter of 40-80 centimeters. 

treasured-trees-revered-in-central-vietnam-4

Cutting trees, lighting fires, hunting, raising livestock, occupying forest land and building are strictly forbidden, the sign reads. "Authorities and locals are trying hard to protect this precious forest,” Lu Van Chom, a senior ranger in Tuong Duong District, told VnExpress.

treasured-trees-revered-in-central-vietnam-5

Orchids grow from crape myrtle trees in the forest. A number of trees here are hundreds of years old, said Chom.

treasured-trees-revered-in-central-vietnam-6

The crape myrtle forest during the fall.

treasured-trees-revered-in-central-vietnam-7

Sunset in the forest.

treasured-trees-revered-in-central-vietnam-8

The forest s a popular destination among travelers in Nghe An. Vietnam wants to raise its forest coverage to 42 percent over the next four years to reduce gas emissions by 8 percent by 2030, the government said in a March report.