Hanoi trees have bark peeled off by locals desperate for cancer cure

By Pham Du   February 6, 2017 | 08:38 pm PT
Vandals often acted during the night, attacking old trees that many believe may have medicinal properties.

Local residents on Lang Street were shocked this week when they found that about 40 trees lining the street, believed to be among the city's oldest, had their bark peeled off.


Trees along the four-kilometer Lang Street are among the oldest in the city. Photos by VnExpress/Pham Du

Thanh, a barber, said he saw a few people vandalize the khaya trees late last week, mostly during the night.

The bark from the tree is believed to have medicinal properties that can cure cancer, despite a lack of concrete evidence.

Botanists said the bark protects the tree from insects and diseases. And when this layer is torn off, it will weaken the tree. The tree will likely die if it is missing a large piece of bark around the trunk.


A large missing piece of tree bark

Nguyen Xuan Hung, an executive at the Hanoi Park and Green Tree Company, said his company is coming up with the exact number of the trees that had their bark peeled off.

He added that similar incidents had happened last month, with as many as 10 trees getting damaged.

The company is planting 200,000 new trees a year so that Hanoi can reach its ambitious target to become the city of a million trees by 2020.

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