Following inspections, discussions and analysis with local and overseas tree experts, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) removed a paper-bark tree in Castle Peak Road today (October 6) to ensure public safety.
Listed on the Register of Old and Valuable Trees (OVTs) with the registration number N/48, the paper-bark tree was in the Kwu Tung Section of Castle Peak Road. Since the tree was located in the middle of Castle Peak Road and Fanling Highway, its trunk and roots were overspilling onto Castle Peak Road and as a result its trunk and roots were continuously damaged by vehicles particularly heavy trucks passing through. Besides, due to site constraints, the space for tree growth was very limited. The LCSD had kept the tree under close surveillance and had taken measures to maintain the tree. After the passage of Typhoon Hagupit on September 24 this year, the tree was found twisted by the strong wind and a two-metre long crack developed on the trunk from the base, showing signs of deterioration. Since there were no strong support points near the tree, a stabilising structure for the tree could not be added. As the tree was located in the middle of busy highways, after prudent consideration and consulting both local and overseas tree experts, the LCSD decided to remove it today for public safety.
Including the paper-bark tree removed today, the LCSD has removed four trees on the Register of the OVTs since August 27 as a result of inspections and for the sake of public safety. The other three are one coral tree in San Po Kong and two lebbeck trees in Kowloon Park and Shek Kip Mei Park. The coral tree was removed on August 30. The lebbeck trees in Kowloon Park and Shek Kip Mei were removed on September 4 and September 22 respectively.
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, October 6, 2008