Ancient banyan in Thua Thien–Hue named heritage tree
Update: Apr 25, 2016
A several-century-old banyan tree in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue has been certificated as a Vietnamese Heritage Tree by the Viet Nam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment. 

A ceremony to announce the status was held in Phu Loc district on April 23. 

Located in Phu Loc town, the Da Bac banyan is 25 metres in height and 27 metres in diameter, according to Chairman of the district People’s Committee Nguyen Van Manh. 

The tree is now one of three heritage trees in the province, together with two ancient fig trees, one aged over 300 in Hue City and the other in Phuoc Tich ancient village, Phong Dien district, is believed to be over 500 years old. 

In 2011, the association launched a programme to conserve Viet Nam’s Heritage Trees, aiming to select and honour significant trees in a bid to conserve their gene sources, while raising public awareness of protecting the environment. 

It also contributes to promoting the diversification and abundance of Viet Nam’s flora as well as developing scientific research in the field. 

To win the honour, the trees must be at least 200 years old in the case of wild trees, and at least 100 years for those planted. Moreover, the trees should be connected with the historical and cultural characteristics of the area where they grow. 

Those which do not meet the criteria, yet have special value to science, history or culture, will also earn recognition. 

The number of recognised Heritage Trees is currently around 970.