Peach blossoms and kumquat trees are common in the north while southern people prefer apricot blossoms for Tết. — Photo laodong.com.vn
HẢI PHÒNG — Lê Đình Hồng, of An Dương District in the northern Hải Phòng City, is taking care of peach trees in his garden in Đặng Cương Village. There are about three weeks left before Tết (Lunar New Year).
The village is one of the country’s best-known peach growers. At present, the village has thousands of old peach trees to meet the demand of people who want to purchase a peach tree with blooming blossoms during Tết, the Lao Động (Labour) newspaper reported.
Traditionally, the Tết holidays are the days of relaxation, family reunion, happiness and joy. Just as many people in the West buy pine trees for the Christmas holiday, Vietnamese often buy many types of flowers and plants to decorate their house in the special period.
The three plants that cannot be missing during the Tết holidays are peach blossoms, apricot (ochna itegerrima) blossoms and kumquat.
Peach blossoms and kumquat trees are common in the north while southern people prefer apricot blossoms for Tết.
Hồng said growing peach trees could be risky. “It’s like a gamble”.
Taking care of peach trees was not too hard, but ensuring peach trees’ blossoms bloomed at the right time, right at Tết, was hard because it depended much on climate, he said. Climate conditions were the key factor to determine when the peach trees’ blossoms bloom and whether they are beautiful or ugly, he added.
According to Hồng and other peach tree growers in the village, the climate this year was favourable and they hoped the peach trees would bloom at the right time.
Nguyễn Văn Hải, a peach tree grower in Hà Nội’s Nhật Tân Village, had already plucked leaves for his peach trees to ensure that the trees’ blossoms would bloom during Tết.
He said at the beginning of this year, he planted about 300 peach trees, but only about 200 trees are left due to the extreme weather.
If the weather was remains warm like this week, the blossoms would bloom at the right time as expected, he said.
Nguyễn Thị Toan, another peach tree grower in the village, said growers were giving more fertiliser to the trees so that their blossoms could flower during Tết.
Toan said this summer’s weather was bad, with a lot of storms and rains. Prolonged cold weather occurred in early January. Therefore, it was hard to say whether the peach trees’ blossoms would be beautiful or not, she added.
Some experienced growers said the weather during the two weeks before Tết was very important. If the climate was warm enough, the blossoms would be beautiful.
Trần Tuấn Việt, owner of Nhật Tân Garden, said about 30 customers had booked peach trees for Tết.
It costs about VNĐ3-4 million (US$132-176) for a medium-sized peach tree, often purchased for a family home, and VNĐ10 million ($440) for a big-sized tree suitable for a company. A small tree costs about VNĐ1 million ($44), he said.
The price might fluctuate between VNĐ100,000 ($4) and VNĐ2-3 million ($88-132) for a branch of peach tree, he said. But this year prices have held steady from last year.
Wild peach trees could cost from tens of millions of đồng to hundreds of millions of đồng per tree, depending on the age and shape of the tree. — VNS