Take a final look at these Saigon sentinels before they're gone forever

By Quynh Tran   July 8, 2017 | 08:11 pm PT
Standing imposingly for hundreds of years old in the city’s downtown area, these trees will have to make way for a bridge that will connect the city's new center.

For years, these big old trees have stood along Ton Duc Thang Street in Ho Chi Minh City’s District.


But they will soon disappear when Thu Thiem 2 Bridge starts going up across the Saigon River to connect District 1 with District 2.


Last week, the city’s legislators decided 143 trees will be axed and 115 will be replanted between August this year and May next year.


The trees will be used for timber.


Last year, the city removed 14 trees from Ton Duc Thang Street to build its first metro line.


For locals, these trees offer shade and a space to earn a living. “They've been here since my grandfather was just a kid. I’ve been fixing motorbikes under their shade for more than 20 years. It’s sad they're going to be cut down,” said Thanh.


Workers have their lunch under the canopy of the trees.


Planted by the French colonists, most of the trees are now 25 meters high, running in four lines along the street.


The city will spend VND7 billion ($308,300) lopping down the trees to build Thu Thiem 2 Bridge, which will span 1,465 meters from District 1 to the Thu Thiem urban area on District 2's Thu Thiem Peninsula, a new financial and commercial hub.

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