Sua wood (dalbergia tonkinensis) is as precious and expensive as gold. A lot of people have been growing sua quietly for the last many years, and now they have multi-billion sua gardens.
Sua is more valuable than thought
Some years ago, sua wood was used by people to make civilian woodworks, such as tables, chairs or wardrobes. One day, sua wood became as expensive as gold, and people began hunting to collect sua wood. People entered forests to chop down sua trees, while merchants came to every house to collect old woodworks made of sua wood.
Three century-old trees in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang national park in Quang Binh have been illegally chopped down, which are believed to have the value of hundreds of billions of dong. The information about the three trees, has once again, triggered a wave of hunting for sua trees. Meanwhile, local residents in Bo Trach district of Quang Binh province have been going to the forest every day to pick up sua timber pieces.
While scientists still cannot explain why sua wood has become so expensive, a lot of people, who have long term vision, have determined to grow sua trees.
The Loc Ninh Rubber Company, for example, has been growing 20 hectares of sua forests. In late 2011, the Duc Trong district’s Public Work Exploitation and Management Company began growing 15,000 sua trees on a trial basis.
The 800 tree sua garden of Tien
Tran Duc Tien, who appeared on the Binh Phuoc provincial TV program 11 years ago as a person, who could not get pay for his work as forest keeper for many years. And now the name has once again appeared on mass media as the owner of a huge garden comprising of 800 sua trees.
Tien said that while working as a forest keeper, he realized about the high value of sua trees. Therefore, in 2006, he decided to go to Vinh Phuc province in the north to look for sua trees.
The documents provided by the sua tree seller, sua wood could be used to make wooden furniture or interior decoration things. A set of table and chairs could be worth up to billions of dong. Meanwhile, sua roots and branches could be used to distil oil used for health care, and the sua tree powder can be used for dead body embalmment.
Sua trees have been used mostly in China, the US and Arab countries, Though Vietnamese scientists have not made any final conclusions about the magic functions of sua trees, people still believe that this is a kind of precious tree.
Currently, a kilo of sua tree on the market is priced at between one to tens of millions of dong.
At that time, Tien bought 2000 sua small trees at 12,000 dong per tree, then carried them to Binh Phuoc province in the south for growing.
In early 2012, when reporters came to visit the sua tree garden, Tien said that the trees would be harvested in 6-10 years. By that time, if each tree is priced at 40 million dong, he would earn some 30 billion dong.
It’s easy to grow sua trees
Vu Duc Thang, a farmer in Duc Trong district of Lam Dong province, has been well-known as the owner of a garden with many precious types of wood, including lat hoa (Chukrasia tabularis A.Juss) and sua.
The 0.8 hectare garden of Thang now has 700 lat hoa and tens of sua trees which are 8 years old now.
The 700 lat hoa trees have the average root diameter of 35 cm and the height of 5 meters. Meanwhile, sua trees have the average root diameter of 25 cm and the height of 4 meters. Thang said that his garden would be worth tens of billions of dong just after several years.
Thang grows different kinds of trees, which create different layers of trees. Lat hoa and sua trees are the tallest trees. Besides, there are bananas, coffee trees, and vegetables.
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