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Lebbeck tree in Shek Kip Mei Park removed for the sake of public safety

    Following an inspection with members of the tree expert group and overseas tree experts, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) removed a lebbeck tree in Shek Kip Mei Park today (September 22) to ensure public safety.

     Listed on the Register of Old and Valuable Trees (OVTs) with the registration number SSP/13, the lebbeck tree was on a slope next to the car park of Shek Kip Mei Park (Phase 3). Two major branches were torn off by wind during the last two typhoons and the main trunk and tree base also suffered damages. The LCSD used cables to stabilise the tree and closely monitored its stability. However, its stability has deteriorated to an unsafe level.

     After thorough inspections by the LCSD staff and the local and overseas tree experts, it was observed that the main trunk of the lebbeck tree was leaning towards the car park. The tree base showed signs of movement. The tree was located on a slope, making it difficult to provide support to stablise the tree. As the slope is close to the main path of the park and the car park with high frequency of people and vehicular movement, the LCSD has to remove the tree today to ensure public safety.

     Since August 27, the LCSD has been inspecting the big trees on the Register of the OVTs and other big trees under its management. As at today, the LCSD had completed the inspection of some 350 OVTs.

     Including the lebbeck tree removed in Shek Kip Mei Park today, the LCSD has removed three trees on the Register of the OVTs since August 27 as a result of inspections and for the sake of public safety. The other two are the coral tree in San Po Kong removed on August 30, and the lebbeck tree in Kowloon Park removed on September 4.

     The LCSD reiterates that removing a problematic tree would only be the last resort when there is no other viable option to keep it.

Ends/Monday, September 22, 2008

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