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11/02/2022 - 14:07

Turning Hue into Vietnam’s land of the yellow apricot trees

This was the topic discussed at the conference titled "Development potential and conservation orientation of Hue yellow apricot varieties" organized by the Department of Science and Technology at Duyet Thi Duong Theater in the Citadel on the morning of February 10.

Attending the conference were Mr. Phan Ngoc Tho, Standing Deputy Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee, scientists and horticulturists, and collectors and artisans who collect Hue yellow apricot trees.

Putting beautiful apricot trees on display at the Citadel on the occasion of the conference. Photo: Bao Minh

"The essence of Hue"

Hue yellow apricot (Hoang mai i.e., Ochna integerrima) is a famous flowering tree of Hue. The yellow apricot blossoms have become popular in today’s life. At many houses, yellow apricot trees are planted in front of the house entrance, adorning and beautifying the garden space and home space. When the flowers bloom, it is a reminder to stay true to the character and virtue in daily life, like the meaning of this flower with many Eastern philosophical meanings.

Dr. Tran Dinh Hang, Director of the Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts in Hue, explained that for many centuries, yellow apricot trees have been associated with historical and spiritual landmarks of Hue. The evidence is not only in the trees that are up to hundreds of years old but also existed from the furniture to the architecture of historical sites in Hue. When we talk about Hue, we think of the yellow apricot tree because it is deeply rooted in the hearts of the people in the Central region.

According to Dr. Tran Dinh Hang, in terms of economic value, Hue yellow apricot tree and ornamental apricot tree cultivation have demonstrated great potential and value. Yellow apricots not only leave a mark in the culture of the spring flower festival but also are branded by bonsai artistic values. This has enhanced the brand value and economic value of Hue yellow apricots. 

Currently, there are many localities in Thua Thien Hue, such as Phong Dien, Phu Vang, Phu Loc, and the suburbs of  Hue City, which are famous as apricot-growing villages, creating a significant source of income. For example, The Chi Tay Village (Dien Hoa, Phong Dien) has a tradition of growing apricot trees for hundreds of years. Preliminary statistics show that in this village, about 30% of households here have their main income from growing apricot trees. Thus, the yellow apricot tree has become a prominent specialty of the villagers and is an indispensable Tet tree in every home. Dien Hoa commune has about 5,000 yellow apricot trees, with each valued from VND 10 million to several hundred million.

According to the Department of Science and Technology, currently, Hue yellow apricot has not yet reached its inherent potential and value. Hue yellow apricot variety has been extensively hybridized. The studies on Hue yellow apricot trees are limited and there have not been in-depth closed-chain studies; the cultivation of apricot trees and “collection of apricot trees" have been spontaneous; the economic potential of the flower - bonsai ecosystem has not been reached to create a brand name as big as the Netherlands - the land of tulips, Japan - the land of cherry blossoms or Bulgaria - the land of roses… This is a reality that leaders at all levels of the local governments are concerned about.

Hue yellow apricot (Hoang mai i.e., Ochna integerrima) is a famous flowering tree of Hue. Photo: Q.T

Another brand name for Hue

Many enthusiastic opinions expressed a desire for Thua Thien Hue to soon become Vietnam's yellow apricot blossom land. Dr. Ho Thang, Director of the Department of Science and Technology stated that starting from that goal, currently, the Department has advised the Provincial People's Committee to approve the task of "Research, conservation, and development of Hue yellow apricot tree (Hoang mai Hue) variety". It is expected that the results of the task will be to develop the propagation process of Hue yellow apricot trees with techniques of seeding, stem cutting and tissue culture and planting and care procedures; building a cultivation model with characteristics of Hue yellow apricot variety; building a guide to identify Hue yellow apricot varieties; developing plans to preserve 100 Hue yellow apricot trees over 50 years old...

Botany expert Do Xuan Cam said that to develop Hue yellow apricot tree into a famous brand name, it is necessary to research and evaluate the entire genetic resources of the yellow apricot variety. The oldest and best apricot trees should be selected and their propagation, planting, and care processes  be researched with the aim to commercialize the products to domestic and international markets.

Mr. Tran Huu Thuy Giang, Director of the Provincial Department of Tourism, said that in addition to researching and developing plans to preserve, develop and promote the Hue yellow apricot brand name, the planning of the gardens and regions of yellow apricot trees must be taken into account so that they are suitable to the landscape to attract tourism. Moreover, it is necessary to preserve and develop the yellow apricot tree to become a key product, an income-generating commodity, and to contribute to economic development through tourism bearing Hue's cultural identity.

Standing Deputy Secretary Phan Ngoc Tho affirmed that Thua Thien Hue has the conditions to develop into Vietnam’s land of yellow apricot flowers, and as famous as Japanese cherry blossoms. The government leaders have set goals and hope that people, scientists, horticulturists, gardeners, longtime apricot tree collectors will contribute their part...

By Minh Van

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