An Old and Valuable Tree (OVT) located at the entrance of Lei Yue Mun Park, Eastern District, was removed today (August 13) in the interest of public safety after it was found to pose the potential danger of collapse, a spokesman for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) said.
The affected tree was a 13-metre-tall Ficus microcarpa and listed as LCSD E/2 on the Register of OVTs.
The LCSD spokesman said, "The tree was found to have signs of decay in its roots and abnormal shedding of leaves in the regular inspection in September 2008. Remedial measures were carried out immediately including the application of fungicide and removal of fungus, as well as improving the soil surrounding the tree. We had also stepped up monitoring and maintenance of the tree.
"Despite this, the health condition of the tree did not show signs of improvement over the years. During the regular inspection this May, more branches were found to be withering in addition to the worsening decay in its roots."
At its meeting on July 26, after thorough discussion and analysis of the condition of the tree the Expert Panel on Tree Management considered that the tree posed the potential danger of collapse. The expert panel therefore recommended that the tree should be removed to protect public safety.
The LCSD spokesman stressed that the department would continue to adopt a prudent approach in inspecting and managing the trees under its care. Removal of a problematic tree would be the last resort when there are no other viable options to ensure safety and keep the tree.
Ends/Monday, August 13, 2012