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Legendary Tay Giang fokienia forests in Tay Giang province protected by locals

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The ancient pomu (fokienia) and do quyen (rhododendron) trees in the Tay Giang district of Quang Nam province, which have existed for thousands of years, are zealously protected by local residents.

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The ancient forest has been existing for thousands of years

 

Reporters visiting the mountainous area of Tay Giang recently saw a signboard which said ‘Rung con Tay Giang phat trien, rung mat Tay Giang suy vong’ (forests exist, Tay Giang develops; forests disappears, Tay Giang falls into decadence) at the entrance way to the district’s central area. For Tay Giang’s people, the forests are viewed as a treasure. 

To reach the legendary ancient forest, reporters traveled 40 kilometers on trails with motorbikes and then walked for 3-4 kilometers. 

The pomu are situated in the communes of Axan and Tr’Hy on Zilieng Mountain, covering an area of 450 hectares at 1,500 meters above sea water level. Many trees aged over 1,800 years exist.

The trees have different names given to them by locals based on their shape: ‘tree of tiger’, ‘elephant’, ‘dragon’ and ‘frog tree’.

In 2016, a survey conducted by local agencies found 1,396 trees in the pomu kingdom. Of these, 725 trees had the trunk diameter of 1.5 meters and more. 

They were later recognized by the Vietnam Nature & Environment Conversation Association as ‘heritage trees’. 

Pomu is a sacred tree of the Co Tu ethnic minority people in the highlands of Tay Giang, so it is protected by the people.

In Vietnam, pomu is a precious timber thanks to its fine, straight grain and distinct aroma. The wood is reserved to make fine artifacts and household products.

It is an endangered species in Vietnam and listed in Red Book.

The recognition of the 725 pomu trees as heritage trees was necessary to protect the precious species. The Tay Giang pomu kingdom is one of the oldest and highest dense forested areas in Vietnam.

Bling Nghi in Arang 1 hamlet of A Xan commune, a tour guide for reporters, said five persons are always on duty in the forest to protect the kingdom day and night.

Alang Drum, a village patriarch in Ganil, a hamlet located at the entrance to the pomu forest, said the forest has developed well because of the care of the Co Tu people.

“We live on the forest. The forest covers us and feeds us. So the Co Tu people take responsibility to protect the forests,” he said.

 

Source: VietNamNet

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