PHNOM PENH, June 8 (FN) — Some 10,000 palm trees will be planted along northeastern Cambodia's 224-km border with Laos in its Stung Treng province over the next five years to create a natural fence that reflects the Cambodian identity, the Cambodia Daily reported on Wednesday.

Palm trees are a symbol of Cambodia's national identity.

The planting of seeds along the first 30 km began on Monday, said Minh Sidchay, director of Stung Treng's rural development department, with provincial governor Mom Saroeun leading police, military police and students in the effort.

About 50 km of the border will be planted each year until all 10,000-odd trees are installed, Sidchay said.

"This is the first step in leading people to plant the palm trees," he was quoted as saying by the newspaper. "We are trying to plant the palm trees along the border step by step to complete the border between Stung Treng and Laos."

"Palm trees are part of the Khmer identity and the Khmer soul," he said. "The palm tree is a kind of plant that is very strong and big and can bear the weather."

Sidchay said palm trees were also appealing because the seeds are inexpensive.