An Old and Valuable Tree (OVT) on Wong Nai Chung Road, Happy Valley, was removed to ensure public safety after it was found to have the risk of collapse due to damage from the typhoon, a spokesman for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) said today (July 25).
The tree was a 15-metre-tall Chinese Banyan, listed as LCSD WCH/10 on the Register of OVTs.
The spokesman said the tree was found to have signs of decay in its roots and was confirmed to have been infected by brown root rot disease in June last year. Monitoring and maintenance works on the tree had been stepped up with a series of remedial measures taken, including the application of fungicide and removing the fungus, as well as using wires to stabilise the tree. However, the growth of the tree roots and the overall health condition of the tree did not show signs of improvement.
"The inspection conducted by the department after the passage of the typhoon found that the root plate showed displacement. The two wires used to stabilise the tree had also become severely tautened. All this indicated that the tree was unstable and had a high risk of collapse.
"The tree was located on Wong Nai Chung Road, which has high traffic flow. After consulting the Tree Management Office (TMO) of the Development Bureau, we decided to remove the tree as early as possible to ensure public safety," the spokesman added.
The LCSD has also inspected another OVT (a Chinese Banyan) in the vicinity and confirmed that it is in stable condition.
During the passage of the typhoon on July 23, four OVTs in the territory were blown over. They were the Chinese Banyan in Kowloon Park (listed as LCSD YTM/96), a Hackberry in Lei Yue Mun Park (listed as LCSD E/7), the Chinese Banyan on Shouson Hill Road (listed as LCSD S/10) and the Weeping Fig in Chater Garden (listed as LCSD CW/123).
The LCSD and the TMO have already examined the two OVTs, LCSD YTM/11 and LCSD YTM/12, situated in the same flower trough as the OVT that collapsed last week in Park Lane Shoppers' Boulevard after the typhoon and considered that their overall health condition had not been affected by the typhoon. The Expert Panel on Tree Management of the TMO will consider appropriate follow-up actions as soon as possible.
Ends/Wednesday, July 25, 2012