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647 Pines Recently Poisoned in Lam Dong With Culprit Still at Large

The illegal act was likely performed by locals looking to free up the protected forest for agricultural use.

Authorities in Lam Dong Province discovered 647 trees with holes drilled and herbicide injected into them, according to Tuoi Tre. Ho Canh Minh, head of Nam Ban Protective Forest Management Board explained to Vietnam News, “The saboteurs often take advantage of the dark night or harsh weather to conduct their activities... They use drills with silencers to avoid discovery." Discarded herbicide containers tipped off experts.

Last year 200 trees were similarly poisoned over a three month period, though early detection allowed some of them to be saved. The method typically kills a tree, some of which were more than 30 years old, in just three weeks and in a way that doesn't attract attention as an obvious act of criminality. The local forest protection department was notified about the incident, but it's still unclear at the point of writing when and who committed the offense.

The trees are a crucial piece in a healthy ecosystem as well as natural safeguard against erosion, landslides and flooding.

[Photo via Bao Gia Lai]

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