Some 30,000 palm tree seeds were planted on Monday along a 10km stretch of National Road 7 leading to the Cambodia-Laos border in Stung Treng province.
The seeds were planted on both sides of the road between post markers 040 and 042, the Stung Treng provincial administration’s Facebook page said.
Some 500 provincial officials, the armed forces and students, led by Stung Treng provincial governor Mom Saroeun and provincial council chairman Chheang Lak, assisted in planting the 30,000 seeds.
Provincial officials said on Tuesday that this was the third occasion in which palm tree seeds had been planted along the road. The first planting occurred in 2016 – in which only 70 per cent of seeds successfully grew – with a second planting ceremony occurring in Kampong Cham province last year.
In total, 40km of the road has had palm trees planted over the three ceremonies, with officials planning to cover 153km of the Cambodia-Laos border road, said Stung Treng provincial hall spokesman Meng Kong.
Palm trees are a famously versatile crop that has been used in Cambodian society in a multitude of ways for millennia – from harvesting their fruit to extracting their oil and using their wood in construction.
Saroeun said palm trees are part of Cambodia’s national identity and have been a feature of the country’s landscape since ancient times.
“Planting palm trees is a historic activity in the province and celebrates the culture and identity of the nation. It encourages the younger generation to love their country,” he said.
Deputy Chair of the Border Committee Koy Pisey said there had been no instruction by the government to plant palm trees along the border, but the border committee supported any province that wanted to do this.
“We support the planting of not only palm trees, but any trees. I support planting trees along the border and if palm trees are planted on the existing border markers, it would be good,” she said.
In August 2017, Cambodia and Laos engaged in an armed confrontation after Lao soldiers entered a station in Stung Treng province’s Siem Pang district, as the two countries had not finished demarcating the border.