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HERITAGE TREES

800-year-old banyan tree crippled by carvings in Da Nang

15 December 2016 | 11:25:00 AM

The trunk of the tree is dotted with visitors’ names, love confessions and words of resentment.


Located on the eastern edge of the Son Tra Peninsula, the giant banyan tree attracts both locals and visitors.
 
With a diamter of 10 meters and 26 aerial roots, the 800-year-old tree is believed to be the most spectacular of all of Vietnam's banyan trees.
 
Recognized as a Vietnam Heritage Tree in June 2014, the banyan tree is under protection of Da Nang authorities. However, its trunk is still being destroyed by engravings carved by visitors.
 
New carvings overlap the old ones.
 
The carvings often focus on parts of the aerial roots close to the ground.
 
Visitors have even found ways to engrave several meters above the ground.
 
New lines created by a correction pen.
 
Sap flows out from fresh carvings.
 
Nguyen Duc Vu, head of the Management Board of Son Tra Peninsula, said that they have allocated staff to erect warning signs and remind travelers not to damage the tree.
 
“Many individuals have poor awareness so they deliberately engraved on the tree when we weren’t there,” said Vu.
 
The forest where the giant banyan tree is located is some distance from the headquarters of the management board, so officials are unable to guard it 24/7, Vu said.
 

Nguyen Dong (Vnexpress)

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