100 Snow Shan tea trees in Sin Chai commune, Ta Chua district, have been recognized as Vietnamese heritage trees.
On March 25, the Review Board held a meeting to review and conclude that the complex of 100 Snow Shan tea trees in Sin Chai and Hac Chua hamlets, Sín Chai commune, fully meets the criteria of Vietnamese heritage trees. Most tea trees grow in the high mountains.
To be recognized as Vietnamese heritage trees, Tua Chua district surveyed and selected 100 ancient Shan Snow tea trees to measure their height, diameter of foliage, and root circumference, then build a file to request recognition.
Tu Chua district has nearly 600 hectares of tea, located at the height of about 1,400 m above sea level, all year round covered by clouds. Here, there are more than 4,000 ancient Shan Snow tea trees, many of which are several hundred years old. They grow naturally in Ta Phin, Sinh Phinh, Ta Sin Thang, and Sin Chai communes.
Locals harvest tea buds.
Mr. Hang A Chu’s family, in Hac Chua hamlet, has dozens of ancient tea trees recognized as heritage trees. He must climb 4-10 m tall trees to pick young buds from 6 AM to 11 AM. Each year, he can harvest about 20 kg of dry tea buds.
Heritage tea trees belonging to Mong ethnic households are allowed to harvest but must be associated with conservation.
From March to the end of lunar October, tea buds are watered by spring rain. Local people choose this time to harvest.
The price of one kg of ancient tea processed by households is nearly one million VND, while the price can up to 10 million VND if tea is purchased and processed by a company.
The ancient tea variety in Tua Pagoda mainly grows naturally. In the past, people harvested for their family’s use. Now, tea becomes a specialty, bringing a stable source of income for locals.
A Snow Shan tea flower.
Snow Shan tea flower has five petals, long pistils, and bigger sepals than normal tea. There is no need to take care, and no use of pesticides, therefore, Snow Shan tea is clean, the water is golden, and the tastes are both sweet and bitter.
The tea trees recognized as heritage trees have a root diameter greater than 75 cm, hundreds of years old.
A corner of a tea tree has the widest canopy, with hundreds of branches, and orchids and mosses grow on the trunk.
Locals call this special tree Snow tea because the harsh climate of the winter in the mountainous region causes the whole tree to be covered with white snow. The tea buds after being processed are covered with a thin layer of white powder, like snow.