ClockMonday, 30/01/2023 07:39

Propagating yellow apricots

TTH.VN - On a chilly winter morning, we went to Bon Tri village (Huong An ward, Huong Tra town) to admire tens of thousands of nearly one-year-old yellow apricot trees blooming.

Enjoying Hue Yellow Apricot converged on Thuong Bac ParkWitnessing the “marvellous” yellow apricot garden in HueTowards turning Thua Thien Hue into Vietnam’s land of yellow apricotsBranding and promoting the value of Hue yellow apricot blossomsThe city of yellow apricot blossomsYellow apricot blossom at the front entrance

Propagating yellow apricots on a growing media. Photo: Kim Oanh

Caring for yellow apricots as if they were children

Taking us to Bon Tri nursery garden that day was Ms. Chau Vu Thao Chi - a technical expert of Hue Greenery Park Center. Leaving the city early in the morning, she started her day perhaps not with work but with love for the profession.

We came to the nursery when the sun had not yet risen, but the team of engineers and workers here had all started their work. “More than 20,000 seedlings of apricot trees are now sturdy, but what worries us most is the erratic weather and pests.” Mr. Nguyen Hong Minh, Vice-captain of the Nursery Team, shared as he showed us the stink bugs, which are among the many species of insects that harm plants.

“If not detected in time, they will quickly suck the young apricot leaves dry,” Minh said.

Next to the beds of 8-month-old apricots, Minh recalled the early days when the garden received the newly sown apricots with only 4 pairs of leaves from the Thuy Xuan nursery. The time to split the tree was right in the middle of summer, when the sun was hot and dry. Since the trees were young and their roots were weak, the most important thing was to cover them and provide shade so that they could sprout up and adapt to their new surroundings.

“Three factors are required to ensure the best growth for plants: loose soil, enough moisture, and enough nutrients,” Ms. Chi said as she opened the diary pages recording each stage of the tree’s life, like a chart used to monitor children’s health.

 Yellow apricots. Photo: Nguyen Chinh Nghia

With just a few words (loose soil, enough moisture and nutrients) that seem to be simple, but for those who care for trees, having a green bed is the result of days spent eating and sleeping by the tree’s side to understand apricot’s behavior, to know when to fertilize, when to separate the pot, when to come out with the sun and wind, etc.

Even the watering of the plants has to be calculated: how many times a day, when is the right time, and how much water is enough. When should water-hyacinth root be used to cover the apricots' roots to maintain moisture? When would it be necessary to take prevention measures during the fickle rainy and flood seasons of Hue? After all that meticulous work, taking care of plants is only one of many stages in apricot propagating.

“Hunting” for rare apricot seeds

Leaving Bon Tri nursery, we came to visit Thuy Xuan nursery in Hue – where 8 months ago, more than 20.000 yellow apricot trees were “born”.

Talking about the nursery stage, Mr. Tran Vung, captain of the Nursery Team, recalls vividly the special task of urgently cultivating 20.000 yellow apricot trees as per order from the Department of Science and Technology, assigned by the leaders of Hue Green Park Center before the New Year of the Tiger 2022. It was part of the project to turn Hue into Vietnam's land of yellow apricots.

“The challenging part was to quickly find a good source of seeds with enough quantity for 20,000 apricot seedlings in such a short time,” said Mr. Vung.

According to Mr. Dang Ngoc Quy, Deputy Director of Hue Greenery Park Center, they already had an advantage of the availability of 100 ornamental apricot pots and 4 apricots gardens with seniority ranging from 30 to 100 years old, which have been collected and cared for over 20 years. All these seed sources were selected from the regions famous for growing apricots in Hue. However, out of more than 300 precious apricot trees, only a dozen met the requirements for the propagation.

The hard part, according to Mr. Quy, was to choose the typical Hue yellow apricot trees with outstanding features, such as a beautiful frame, thick flowers, tight petals, dark yellow flower color, and fragrance.

“To acquire the good seeds, we mobilized experienced engineers, learned from longtime apricot growers, and consulted with leading experts from the Research Institute of Fruit and Vegetables (Ministry of Agriculture and Agricultural Development),” Mr. Quy shared.

“In order to have enough seed sources, we mobilized human resources to survey throughout Kim Long, Huong Long, Ngu Tay, and Vy Da... to select the precious ancient apricot trees from each household. At the beginning of 2022, with the Mai vàng trước ngõ” (“Yellow apricot at the front entrance”) trend, apricot seeds were in high-demand, making access to the seed source difficult,” said Mr. Tran Vung, Captain of the Nursery Team, as he recalled the difficulties on the early stages of yellow apricot. 

Graduating from the university majoring in horticulture in the 1990s and having worked with fruits and fields for many years, Mr. Phan The Nghiep, Vice-Captain of the Nursery Team, was chosen to be in charge of the propagating process.

Sharing experience from his result of nearly 100% of apricot seeds successfully planted, Mr. Nghiep said that the key was choosing healthy seeds to ensure even germination. “Next is the growing medium that has been thoroughly researched, with the ratio of 50% rice husk ash and 50% decayed organic fertilizer, which preserved the young roots of the plant when separating from the pot at the age of four pairs of leaves.”

However, from picking apricot seeds from the tree until they germinate and grow, it is also a process that requires many specialized techniques. From caring, waiting every day for the seeds to ripen evenly to harvest, then selecting, removing bad seeds, soaking in water to remove flat seeds, removing the outer cover to prevent decomposition, causing mold to contaminate the soil..., every stage must be carefully monitored.

After nearly a year of effort of the team, the propagation of 20,000 apricot trees has now been basically completed. With a little sigh of relief next to the apricot beds, we saw clearly the joy and happiness in the smiles and eyes of hard-working engineers like Nghiep, Vung, Chi, and the team of workers.

Speaking about her work and her colleagues, Chau Vu Thao Chi said nothing but loving words about the trees. That, as if responding to the love of their caregivers, the trees were steadfast, overcoming the challenges of nature and survive.

One day, along with the project of yellow apricot, 20,000 yellow apricot trees currently growing in Bon Tri and Thuy Xuan nurseries will spread everywhere, beautifying the city. There, hidden behind the brilliant color of yellow and fragrant of the noble flowers, is the story of the silent sweat drops and sleepless nights of the people who have infused their efforts and love into the trees.

By Kim Oanh

Be the first to review this post!


Story of royal lotus

Aside from the economic value offered, the fruitful propagation of royal lotus is also the story relevant to many community values...

Story of royal lotus
Picking off leaves for yellow apricots

In order for yellow apricots to bloom in time to welcome Tet, in these days, Hue Green Park Center is mobilizing human and material resources to pick leaves off apricot trees in the gardens along Le Duan Street and in front of the Hue Imperial Citadel.

Picking off leaves for yellow apricots
Propagating about Vietnamese sea and islands to teachers and students

On March 12th, 354 Technical Assurance Center – Naval Zone 3 in coordination with the Propaganda and Training Commission of Thua Thien Hue provincial Party Committee held a conference to propagate about the sea and islands and attract human resources to joining the Vietnam People's Navy.

Propagating about Vietnamese sea and islands to teachers and students
Return to top