Green trees neglected in Ho Chi Minh City

While some of the city’s trees have become common dumping grounds for local garbage, others are suffocating from cement poured over their roots.

According to the observation of Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters, trees along D2 Street in Binh Thanh District have had their roots buried under a layer of cement, making it difficult for the plants to be taken care of or watered.

“They are still growing just fine. I protect these trees from being chopped down,” a resident explained.

Several trees on the promenades of Hoa Hao Streets in District 11 have also been subjected to such neglectful treatment.

“The concrete surrounding their roots has been damaged, causing soil to be washed into our houses,” a local said.

“Since authorities have been unable to deal with the problem, we decided to fix it ourselves,” he continued.

Meanwhile, green trees on a section of Dien Bien Phu Street in Binh Thanh District have become garbage dumping hotspots for local vendors.  And the pollution is piling up.

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“The trash causes an unpleasant smell on sunny days. When it rains, rubbish and leftovers often wash onto the sidewalk,” Bao Tran, a university student, stated.

Countless plants along Pasteur Street in District 3 and To Duc Thang and Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Streets in District 1 are suffering a similar fate.

According to Nguyen Thanh Son, an official from the Ho Chi Minh City Greenery Parks Company, dumping garbage and wastewater onto tree roots can seriously harm their development. 

Cement covering tree roots can hamper the growth process and eventually kill the tree, Son added.

Nguyen Vinh Ninh, director of the Urban Traffic Management Unit No.1, the authority responsible for the management of local green trees, admitted that the situation is rampant in neighborhoods across the southern hub.

The agency has called for support from local authorities to help raise residents’ awareness of tree protection.

Several teams of officers have also been tasked with removing cement and garbage from green trees in the city, Ninh said.