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If you travel by road from Nha Trang and Phan Rang to Da Lat, after crossing over the Ngoan Muc Pass, or if you start from Ho Chi Minh City, after you pass the Finom junction, you will be amazed at the abundant pine forests.
1. The five-leaf (pinus exce/sa wall), which can withstand a very cold climate, concentrates in Lam Dong-Da Lat and the southwest of Thua Thien-Hue.
2. The flat-leaf (pinus ducampo Krempfii) concentrates in Khanh Hoa and Ninh Thuan.
3. The three-leaf (pinus Khasya rogle) is abundant in Lam Dong, Daklak, Lai Chau, Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Ha Giang and Son La. This pine tree grows well in temperature ranges between 15 and 24 degrees Celsius.
4. The twin-leaf grows mainly in Lam Dong-Da Lat, Kon Turn, Daklak, Gia Lai, Thua Thien - Hue, Ha Bac and Ha Tay. The best temperature for its growth is 24 to 27 degrees Celsius.
5. The horse tail concentrates in Lang Son, Lai Chau, Vinh Phuc, Quang Ninh, and Cao Bang. It grows well in temperature ranges from 21 to 22 degrees Celsius.
Of the above pine species, Da Lat's main ones are the five-leaf, the flat-leaf and the twin-leaf. Pines here are grown for two main purposes: the wood and resin. Pine wood is used for making musical instruments, ships and boats, household objects, and paper pulp. More recently, the local pine wood is also used for making plywood for exports Pine resin is used for making paper, textile fibers, and insulators, cosmetics and medicines.
Local growers use the same techniques for cultivating the pines as elsewhere. They let the pine seeds sprout, which takes about five days. Then they plant the seedlings in nylon bags and nurture them for 12 months before transplanting them in the forest. When the pine reaches 44 years of age, growers start to exploit its resin for the next 40 years. They cut the tree down for wood when it reaches 80 years of age.
As you wander through the pine forest, you will have a sense of serenity. Look at the straight rows of tall, slender young pines covering a vast area. Lean against an old pine enveloped by the silence of an early afternoon. Listen to the songs of the pines and enjoy the cool breeze. Perhaps, you will become inspired to create a poem or sing to yourself.