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Kumquat trees wilt as peaches flourish

Update: January, 05/2015 - 09:53

HA NOI (VNS) — With only six weeks left before Tet, kumquat growers in Ha Noi's Tay Ho District's Tu Lien Ward are facing losses because many trees in their gardens have withered. However, peach blossom growers in Nhat Tan Ward have seen a bumper season.

Nguyen Van Dung said his garden had about 1,000 kumquat trees, but up to 300 had withered. The same was true in the garden next to his, where the owner said that 350 of the 700 trees in his garden had withered and died.

"Our family will lose hundreds of millions of dong," he said.

The growers blamed the tree deaths on heavy rain, including acid rain, during the rainy season. Rainwater pooled at the roots, causing root rot, they said. The trees then shrivelled and died.

However, Nguyen Thi Binh, head of the ward's Agricultural-service Co-operative, told An Ninh Thu Do (Capital's Security) newspaper that the cause was improper planting techniques and indiscriminate use of pesticides. According to Binh, root rot was just adding to the situation.

To prevent the same from occurring next year, she advised local kumquat growers to obey planting techniques and spray pesticides as instructed.

Binh said that the ward now had about 400 kumquat growers, with a total area of about 20 ha.

Growers said that due to the situation, the price of a kumquat tree would increase by VND100,000 – 1 million (US$4.5 – 45) per tree, depending on size.

A small tree costs about VND300,000-500,000 ($14-23), while a medium-sized tree costs VND700,000-1.5 million ($32-70) and a tree more than 3m tall costs VND3-5 million ($140-230).

Peach blossom growers get bumper season

Unlike kumquat growers, peach blossom growers in the district's Nhat Tan Ward saw a bumper season thanks to advanced planting techniques and warm weather.

Dang Van Manh received nearly 100 orders from companies to rent peach blossom trees to decorate their offices for the Year of the Goat, which begins on February 19.

It costs about VND5-8 million ($235-375) to rent a big peach blossom tree, he said.

Nguyen Thu Huong, another peach blossom grower, said that the blossoms would be more beautiful than last year because of the warm weather.

"This is a very good year for peach blossoms," Huong said.

According to growers, a 1m peach blossom tree costs about VND500,000 ($23), while a larger tree costs VND700,000-1.5 million ($32-70). Customers who buy a tree that costs more than VND1 million get free shipping. The prices are the same as last year. — VNS

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