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Wild peach trees overused for Tet

Update: February, 28/2015 - 12:00

Gone are the days when there were many wild peach trees in Son La province.

Many people liked to use their branches to decorate their homes for Tet.

This led to people cutting them and selling them to make money.

Now, there are very few of these beautiful trees.

Those that still stand are being ruined because of people still wanting to strip them of their branches.

Such old peach flowers like this are in danger of being cut by peach flower traders.
Such old peach flowers like this are in danger of being cut by peach flower traders. -VNS Photo Nguyen Viet Thanh

HA NOI (VNS) – It's hard to find ancient wild peach branches on sale in the northern mountainous province of Son La, due to their overexploitation by the local people.

Wild peach is an ornamental tree used by the people of the northern region during the Lunar New Year Festival.

In recent years, people in Ha Noi and other northern provinces have shown increased preference for wild peach branches in decorating their homes during Tet, instead of the usual cultivated ones from Ha Noi's Nhat Tan Village.

The massive exploitation of the trees, especially old trees, has made them scarce. National Highway No 6, running through Yen Chau and Moc Chau districts of Son La Province, was bustling with the sale and purchase of the trees.

However, several buyers there said that they found it hard to get wild peach branches as beautiful as they desired.

Nguyen Van Manh, from the northern Ha Nam Province, said that he had driven to Son La every year to buy ancient wild peach tree branches for Tet, and he always got beautiful ones.

But this year, he couldn't find any good branches. He even went to the villages of the ethnic Mong minority people and visited their gardens, but it was in vain.

Lu A Thien, a seller at Ta Lang T-Junction in Yen Chau District, said that few ancient wild peach branches are available, as people rushed to chop the trees down in the past for profit.

Nguyen Van Dat, a trader from the northern Hai Phong City, agreed, saying that he chose only the small branches of a few ancient peach trees in the gardens of the ethnic people. Large branches with beautiful blossoms seemed to have disappeared, he said.

In the province's markets, peach branches are sold for rates between VND200,000 (US$9.4) and VND2 million (US$94), depending on their type. – VNS

GLOSSARY

It's hard to find ancient wild peach branches on sale in the northern mountainous province of Son La, due to their overexploitation by the local people.

To exploit something means to get as much from it as possible. It may be a person you employ, a tree whose fruit you harvest or an animal you use for ploughing your fields, to cite a few examples. Overexploitation is about exploiting to the point that it is very harmful to what you are exploiting, in this case wild peach trees.

Wild peach is an ornamental tree used by the people of the northern region during the Lunar New Year Festival.

An ornamental tree is one used for decoration rather than for shade or for its fruit.

In recent years, people in Ha Noi and other northern provinces have shown increased preference for wild peach branches in decorating their homes during Tet, instead of the usual cultivated ones from Ha Noi's Nhat Tan Village.

If people show an increased preference for wild peach, it means they prefer wild peach to other plants more and more.

Cultivated trees are those grown by hand rather than in the wild.

The massive exploitation of the trees, especially old trees, has made them scarce.

If old trees are scarce there are not many of them.

 National Highway No 6, running through Yen Chau and Moc Chau districts of Son La Province, was bustling with the sale and purchase of the trees.

Bustling means moving with energy.

The purchase of trees means the buying of trees.

However, several buyers there said that they found it hard to get wild peach branches as beautiful as they desired.

To desire something is to want it.

But this year, he couldn't find any good branches. He even went to the villages of the ethnic Mong minority people and visited their gardens, but it was in vain, he said.

An ethnic minority are a group of people in a country who may be of a different culture, speak a different language and sometimes are of a different race to most people around them. The Mong is one such group of people.

WORKSHEET

State whether the following sentences are true, or false:

1.      Son La province is in the south of Viet Nam.

2.      Most people in Viet Nam are from the Mong community.

3.      It was mostly old wild peach trees that were exploited.

4.      National Highway No 6, runs through Yen Chau and Moc Chau districts of Son La Province.

5.      Lu A Thien sells wild peach tree branches.

ANSWERS:

© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2015


























1. False; 2. False; 3. True; 4. True; 5. True.

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