800-year-old banyan tree crippled by carvings in Da Nang

By Nguyen Dong   December 12, 2016 | 11:17 am GMT+7

The trunk of the tree is dotted with visitors’ names, love confessions and words of resentment.

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Located on the eastern edge of the Son Tra Peninsula, the giant banyan tree attracts both locals and visitors.

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With a diamter of 10 meters and 26 aerial roots, the 800-year-old tree is believed to be the most spectacular of all of Vietnam's banyan trees.

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Recognized as a Vietnam Heritage Tree in June 2014, the banyan tree is under protection of Da Nang authorities. However, its trunk is still being destroyed by engravings carved by visitors.

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New carvings overlap the old ones.

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The carvings often focus on parts of the aerial roots close to the ground.

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Visitors have even found ways to engrave several meters above the ground.

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New lines created by a correction pen.

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Sap flows out from fresh carvings.

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Nguyen Duc Vu, head of the Management Board of Son Tra Peninsula, said that they have allocated staff to erect warning signs and remind travelers not to damage the tree.

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“Many individuals have poor awareness so they deliberately engraved on the tree when we weren’t there,” said Vu.

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The forest where the giant banyan tree is located is some distance from the headquarters of the management board, so officials are unable to guard it 24/7, Vu said.

Photos by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong

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