The po mu kingdom in Tay Giang

With its amazing beauty and endless vitality, the forest of po mu trees in Tay Giang district is considered a natural treasure of the Co Tu ethnic group in Quang Nam province.

To reach the forest, we had to travel over bumpy and dusty roads under the scorching sun. After an hour, we arrived at the foot of Zi’lieng mountain and found the forest. We were surprised at the very tall trees which reach the highest layer of the forest.

Under the sunlight in the forest, the po mu tree’s roots have unique shapes that look like a dragon or a tiger. There is also a giant root which has created a big cave in the ground.

There are many po mu forests in Vietnam. However, the one in Tay Giang is special. According to experts, the ancient po mu forest of Tay Giang is one of the largest and the most valuable forests of its type in Southeast Asia.

There are 2,000 po mu trees aged from 250 to 1,000 years on Zi’lieng mountain.

A giant po mu tree.

A giant root looks like a cave on the ground.

A dead po mu tree in the forest.

An imposing corner in the forest of po mu in Tay Giang.
A root looks like a tiger.

The trees have been growing in the forest of Tay Giang for more than 1,000 years. The place of these ancient po mu trees is located on Zi’lieng mountain at 1,500m above sea level. There are nearly 2,000 po mu trees inside an area of 450ha, including 725 trees recognized as heritage trees. About 80 trees had fallen because of storms or lightning strikes and were covered by green moss. Some downed trees had only their cores which were as strong firm as iron.

Vice Chairman of Tay Giang District people’s Committee Arat Blui said, “Forests exist, Tay Giang develops, forests disappear, and Tay Giang falls into decay”. Therefore, to cope with the serious issue of deforestation, the local authority and people have made efforts to protect the forest of po mu, their precious heritage.

Po mu has the scientific name of fokienia hodginsii and is a genus of conifer tree belonging to the cypress family. It ranks in a valuable group of A2. According to the statistics of Tay Giang district, the counted po mu trees are now 2,011 which grow in an area of 450ha, covering the two communes of Tr’hy and Axan. There are 725 trees recognized as heritage trees.

By Thanh Hoa