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Old and Valuable Tree at Hong Kong Park removed for public safety

     An Old and Valuable Tree (OVT) at Hong Kong Park in Central and Western District was removed today (March 12) to ensure public safety after it was found to be infected with brown root rot (BRR) disease and have a potential risk of collapse, a spokesman for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) said.

     Located in the flower bed near the artificial lake of the park, the tree was a 15-metre-tall Mangifera indica and listed on the Register of OVTs with registration number LCSD CW/111.

     The spokesman said the department had all along carried out regular inspections and maintenance on the tree. For the past year, as the health of the tree was found to be worsening and the tree crown was getting sparse, the department had been closely monitoring it and stepping up the care of it.

     During an inspection last October, LCSD staff found that the health condition of the tree failed to show signs of improvement. Upon a site inspection by the Tree Management Office (TMO) of the Development Bureau, it was confirmed that the tree had been infected with the BRR disease. The LCSD, the TMO and the Expert Panel on Tree Management of the Development Bureau jointly inspected the tree last December and confirmed that the health of the tree was irrecoverable and the overall structure of the tree had been damaged, leading to a potential danger of collapse.

     Since Hong Kong Park is a popular spot for visitors, the LCSD, after consulting the TMO, decided to remove the tree as early as practicable to ensure public safety and to contain the spread of the BRR disease. The Central and Western District Council had been notified of the decision.

     The spokesman reiterated that the department would continue to adopt a prudent approach in inspecting and managing trees under its care. Removal of problematic trees will be taken only when there are no other viable options.

Ends/Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Issued at HKT 18:20


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