return icon

Are flowers suitable for planting in a rubbish dump?

Milk flowers, or hoa sữa, are a familiar sight for Hanoians. They are praised as a symbol of the capital city’s beauty, besides other famous spots like Hoan Kiem (Returned Sword) Lake, Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature) and the Old Quarter.

 Hanoi removes more than 100 trees for unpleasant odour

Many alstonia scholaris trees on Hanoi's Trich Sai Street were cut off to transfer to Soc Son District's Nam Son landfill. — Photo


The flower is also mentioned in famous songs and poems such as Nhớ mùa thu Hà Nội (Remember Ha Noi’s autumn) by Trinh Cong Son, Em ơi Hà Nội phố (My dear, Ha Noi Streets) by Phu Quang and Phan Vu and Hoa sữa (Milk flower) by Hong Dang.

When news broke that nearly 100 milk flower trees along Trich Sai Street near the West Lake will be moved to the Nam Son rubbish dump in Soc Son District, many people were surprised and disgusted.

Do Tuan Anh, chairman of the Tay Ho District People’s Committee, said the decision was made by municipal authorities. The trees started to be moved last Wednesday by the committee, in coordination with the Ha Noi Department of Construction. The work is scheduled to last a month.

Anh said residents had complained about the trees as they were too thick and smelled strong because too many were planted too close together.

After the move, the municipal authorities will gather opinions from experts and residents as to their replacement.

"The district does not have enough land to plant 96 trees. Planting them near a large garbage dump will improve the sight and smell of the area," he said.

Architect Tran Huy Anh, a member of the Ha Noi Architect Association, said the rubbish dump was a polluted place and trees often attract insects.

The insects, together with the pollution from the rubbish, would help spread diseases, he said.

Moreover, Anh added, to treat the pollution from the rubbish dump, chemicals would be needed, not trees.

Phan Thu Trang, from Thanh Xuan District, worries about the mixture of smells after the move.

“Milk flowers have a special aroma, if it goes together with the bad smell from the dump, the new smell will be much more unpleasant,” she said.

Residents, who have had to live with the bad smell from the rubbish dump for many years, now could suffer from more problems.

However, the plan was praised by experts.

Associate professor Dang Van Ha, deputy director of the Landscape Architecture and Urban Greenery Institute, said milk flower trees grew quickly and adapted easily to soil types thus were suitable for landfills.

Tree roots also absorb organic matter and reduce odours.

"The milk flower season lasts longer than a month, the range extends to less than 100m. Meanwhile, the dump is far from residential areas, so it does not affect inhabitants of this area," said Ha.

Ha believes that the plants are not suitable for growing on the street because the smell and pollen can cause allergies, especially for people with respiratory disorders. This plant should only be grown in parks with a density of 150-200m per tree.

Herbalist Vu Quoc Trung, from the Ha Noi Oriental Medicines Association, told the Đời sống Plus e-newspaper that milk flower trees had medicinal properties, especially in treating diarrhoea and digestive disorders.

Several other countries such as India and Philippines use milk flowers in remedies, he said.

Many people from Hanoi now live far from the capital city, but remember the flowers as an integral part of the capital.

The challenge is how to keep the environment clean and reduce air pollution around Nam Son rubbish dump while maintaining the beautiful image of milk flowers.

This issue needs careful consideration, with the input of residents and concerned organisations. In this way we can have both a hygienic rubbish dump and the enduring charm image of milk flowers, not only in songs and poems, but also in the hearts of people from Hanoi. VNS

Thu Trang



Number of air passengers down 14% in September

Vietnam needs highly skilled labour force to compete

The vocational training system of Vietnam needs reforming to create highly-skilled human resources that meet the requirements of the labour market in increasingly integrated international market, experts said.

Lengthy visa process a setback for FDI firms

The visa process does not always go smoothly. Sometimes, it moves so slowly that some specialists cannot enter Vietnam on schedule, leading to production disruptions.

Petrol and oil price stabilisation fund requires thorough appraisal

The Government needs to carefully evaluate the effectiveness of the petrol and oil price stabilisation fund in keeping the commodity’s retail prices stable before deciding to maintain or eliminate the tool, experts said.

Embedded finance the next big thing: summit

Embedded finance is the next big thing in the financial services industry as it has integrated seamlessly into the local fintech landscape in recent years, experts said at a meeting last Friday in HCM City.

Entertainment and cultural events of the week (September 26-October 2)

Upcoming entertainment and cultural events in Vietnam's major cities on September 26-October 2.


PM orders urgent measures against Storm Noru

Beauties wow in traditional costume contest at Miss Grand Vietnam

Vietnamese beauties boasted of their charm in a traditional costume segment of the ongoing Miss Grand Vietnam 2022 taking place on September 23.

State Bank’ rate hike necessary to defend VND, control inflation: ADB Country Director

ADB Country Director Andrew Jeffries has talked on the recent interest rate hike by the State Bank of Vietnam in the context of the Fed, ECB and a number of countries raising their rates to curb inflation.

Prop-tech has potential but faces challenges

Many prop-tech startups are facing challenges, though it is a new market with potential in Vietnam.

Prime Minister asked to stabilise rice price

India's restriction on rice exports is said to have an impact on the volume and price of Vietnamese rice exports.

Vietnamese artworks to go under the hammer in France

The auction’s highlight is Les Rapides de Cho Bo, a six-panel lacquer screen with gold highlights, painted in 1942 by Le Quoc Loc. The artwork is estimated to fetch €400,000 ($396,000), the highest price of the lot.

A pearl in mountainous province

Referred to as the “Halong Bay of the northwest region”, Nong Dung Lake has recently been attracting tourists as an ecotourism destination due to its emerald water and poetic scenery.

USD reaches high price, currencies depreciate to record low

The forex market has seen heavy fluctuations amid a tense situation as the US has raised interest rates as well as other central banks. The high prices of USD have affected the Vietnamese dong.

Tapping the potential of agrisolar

Agrisolar, or agrivoltaics, is opening the door to sustainable development and renewable energy production worldwide.