An Old and Valuable Tree (OVT) in Southern District was removed today (April 9) to ensure public safety after it was found to be infected with brown root rot (BRR) disease and to have a potential risk of collapse, a spokesman for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) said.
Located on 20 Tai Tam Road, the tree was a 12-metre-tall flame tree (Delonix regia) and listed on the Register of OVTs with registration number LCSD S/39.
The spokesman said the department had all along carried out regular inspections and maintenance on the tree. Since last October, as the health of the tree was found to be rapidly deteriorating and the tree crown was getting sparse, the department had been monitoring it closely and stepping up its maintenance.
During an inspection last December, LCSD staff found that the health condition of the tree did not 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 BRR disease. The LCSD, the TMO and the Expert Panel on Tree Management jointly inspected the tree last month 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 the tree was located on a pavement, the LCSD, after consulting the TMO and the Southern District Council, decided to remove the tree as early as practicable to ensure public safety and to contain the spread of BRR disease.
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, April 9, 2013
Issued at HKT 14:00