An Old and Valuable Tree in North District in the New Territories has been removed to ensure public safety after it was found to have the risk of collapse, a spokesman for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) said today (September 25).
Listed on the Register of Old and Valuable Trees, the 22-metre-tall Chinese banyan tree, registration number LCSD N/26, was located on Jockey Club Road, North District.
In mid-2010, department staff found that the health condition of the tree was unsatisfactory. The cavity at its base and its roots had signs of decay and attack by fungus, the spokesman said.
"The tree had been under close monitoring and a series of remedial measures were taken, including trimming of the tree crown and clearing dead branches and application of fungicide as well as using cables to stabilise the tree. However, the overall health condition of the tree did not show signs of improvement."
During an inspection in late August this year, LCSD staff found that the health condition of the tree was deteriorating. Further examination of the tree on September 21 confirmed a large crack on the surface of the soil and the supporting cables used to stabilise the tree trunk were found to have increased tension, which indicated that the structure and stability of the tree were severely undermined and posed a risk of collapse.
The spokesman said, "The tree was located on the side of a busy pedestrian path. To ensure public safety, we decided to remove it as soon as possible after consulting the Tree Management Office of the Development Bureau."
He stressed that the LCSD will continue to inspect and maintain trees with due care and removal of any trees will be the last resort only when there are no other viable options.
Ends/Tuesday, September 25, 2012