| Apricot garden Phuong Binh, a 7,000-square-meter site hosting more than 3,500 apricot trees, has seen 1,500 trees popping out, while the first day of the Lunar New Year is Feb. 12. |
Tran Duc Tinh, 42, from An Giang Province is tasked with trimming petals. "I have been working here for three years and apricot flower blossoms this year have ‘made too early a start’ for Tet," Tinh said.
| Nguyen Ngoc Phuong, a 43-year-old apricot garden owner, caresses his blooming VND500 million ($21,700) yellow apricot tree. He ascribed the early blossoming to an extra 13th lunar month this year. |
Phuong is one of a dozen apricot garden owners in Thu Duc City and An Phu Dong Ward of District 12 to suffer from this untimely blossoming.
| Yellow apricot flowers attract bees hungry for nectar. |
The owner also pointed out that abnormal weather conditions were another contributing factor. "The sudden change from sunny, dry to rainy weather has made trees suffer from temperature shock and bloom sooner".
Besides the adverse weather conditions, the fact restaurants, hotels, bars, clubs, and companies have been dealt a hard blow by Covid-19 has significantly decreased apricot plant sales.
Worried by the pre-Tet flower bloom, garden owners decided to hire seasonal workers to take care of their plants.
All green buds have to be removed so the plants could flourish for Tet next year.
After trimming, "skeletons" of yellow apricot trees are transferred to a special care unit. Several trees here, worth up to VND300-600 million ($13,000-26,000), have died because of the unexpected weather conditions.
Healthy plants expected to bloom on Tet are watered and sprayed with pesticides.
According to garden owners, a yellow apricot tree costs from around VND2-3 million to hundreds of millions (VND100 million = $4,300).