|The 200-year-old sưa tree at Phụ Chính Pagoda in Hà Nội is starting to show its age. — Photo dantri.com.vn|
HÀ NỘI — Residents of Phụ Chính Village in Hòa Chính Commune, Chương Mỹ District want to sell a 200-year-old sưa (dalbergia tonkinensis) tree which was once valued at VNĐ100 billion (US$4.28 million).
According to the commune People’s Committee, local authorities asked for approval from the district and the Hà Nội People’s Committee to auction off the tree. It is located at Phụ Chính Pagoda.
One potential buyer previously offered VNĐ100 billion for the tree, but villagers refused to sell. Then, in 2010, one of two major branches broke off and was sold for VNĐ20.5 billion.
Residents and local authorities took measures to protect the tree from unlicensed loggers who wanted to steal its wood. But over the last few years it has shown signs that it is beginning to die.
One of the pagoda’s monks said they want to sell the tree to fund repairs and public works.
Sưa trees are commonly found along Hà Nội’s streets. The tree is ranked as vulnerable on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Endangered Species. In Việt Nam, sưa wood is highly valued for its quality. — VNS