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An irrecoverable Old and Valuable Tree in Tsim Sha Tsui to be removed

     In response to media enquiries, a spokesman for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) today (December 6) said that further examination of the tree structure of an Old and Valuable Tree (OVT) with the assistance of a resistograph today, together with the findings and analysis by Tree Management Office (TMO) of the Development Bureau and tree experts, confirmed that the tree was suffering from irrecoverable poor health and early action was needed to remove the tree in question in the interest of public safety.

     The OVT with registration number YTM10 is located at Park Lane Shoppers Boulevard in Tsim Sha Tsui. Today's further examination follows TMO's and LCSD's joint inspection with experts yesterday, which confirmed that the tree was suffering from brown root rot disease and banyan tussock moth attack.  The joint inspection, led by the Head of TMO, Mr Lawrence Chau, had found the OVT had little chance of recovery. Although the structure of the tree did not pose immediate danger of collapse, considering the potential risk of a sick tree in a location with high pedestrian flow, TMO and LCSD decided that the tree should be removed as early as possible to ensure public safety.

     The LCSD had been closely monitoring the condition of the OVT by conducting ongoing checks and taking appropriate maintenance measures. Early in October, the department noticed the health condition of the tree in question had deteriorated.  The tree was later found to have abnormal defoliation in early November due to attack by banyan tussock moth. Pesticides were immediately applied to the tree to control the situation. In addition, other suitable maintenance measures were instituted including pruning, application of fungicide and reinforced irrigation.

     The LCSD spokesman said the department would closely monitor the health conditions of other OVTs in the vicinity and maintenance measures would be instituted where appropriate.

     The spokesman reiterated that LCSD would continue to adopt a prudent approach in managing trees under its care. For trees in poor conditions, removal would be the last resort only when there were no other viable options.

Ends/Monday, December 6, 2010

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