|Hà Nội is famous for its tree-lined streets. For infrastructure development, particularly widening roads, the city has to remove hundreds of trees. — VNA/VNS Photo Trung Hiếu|
HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội aims to replace more than 4,000 xà cừ (African mahogany, scientific name Khaya senegalensis) trees in the city at risk of falling down, threatening the safety of citizens in the stormy season.
The statement was made at a conference on Wednesday between the municipal Department of Construction and scientists and experts on if the city should plant more African mahogany trees.
Currently, there are more than 4,000 African mahogany trees in the city. Many are located in inner districts and on key roads such as Hoàng Diệu, Lê Hồng Phong, Hoàng Văn Thụ, Hoàng Hoa Thám, La Thành and Yên Phụ.
African mahogany trees have large branches and easily fall down in bad weather.
Nguyễn Xuân Hanh, deputy director of Hà Nội Green Tree and Park One Member Co Ltd, said that most of the trees were not tended to regularly, allowing them to grow naturally, reaching for light with tilted and curved branches, affecting the city’s beauty.
African mahogany trees do not have high economic value. In addition, the roots need a lot of space to develop while the city’s pavements are narrow with much underground construction. This affects the solidity of the trees and make them easily fall.
Đào Ngọc Nghiêm, vice chairman of Hà Nội Association of Urban Planning and Development, said that African mahogany trees should not be planted in the city as their roots impact infrastructure, the beauty of the city and pavements.
However, he said, the city needed to conduct careful surveys, classify rotten trees and consider preserving African mahogany trees in some areas.
PhD Phạm Văn Điển, former director of the University of Agriculture suggested that the city assign a group to conduct surveys, collect information, build the plan and collect opinions from the public before implementing it.
Võ Nguyên Phong, director of the construction department said the department would report to the city’s People’s Committee on the status of the African mahogany trees and the impacts of biochemical soil on the city.
Hà Nội to cut, move 1,300 trees
About 1,000 trees on Phạm Văn Đồng Street in Hà Nội’s Cầu Giấy District will be cut down, 158 moved and 142 pruned for the expansion of Ring Road 3.
The trees are set to be cut and pruned before September 30, according to the road’s construction plan.
Speaking to online newspaper Zing.vn on Wednesday, Phạm Văn Duân, deputy director of the Hà Nội Traffic Construction Project Management Board, said the board inspected the trees between April 18 and 20.
About 986 of the 1,300 trees are African mahogany trees of 0.4-1.2m diameter, he said.
The Hà Nội Green Tree and Park Company will be in charge of cutting, moving and pruning the trees, Duân added.
It will be tough to complete the process before September 30 as the city’s construction department has yet to give the company permission to go ahead with the task, he said.
The Hà Nội People’s Committee started the Ring Road 3 expansion project last October. The extended stretch of the road, from the south end of Mai Dịch flyover to the south end of Thăng Long Bridge, will be 5.5km long, 56 to 93m wide and will have six traffic lanes, two of which will accommodate mixed traffic.
The project costs VNĐ3 trillion (US$136.5 million), and requires 392,000sq.m of land to be cleared and 796 households and 55 office buildings to be removed. — VNS