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Graphic: Press ReleasesGraphic: October
 
Inspection of old and valuable trees completed
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      The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) announced today (October 9) that with the assistance of overseas tree experts, the department had completed the inspection of the trees listed on the Register of Old and Valuable Trees (OVTs) that are under its management.

     This inspection exercise covers 499 OVTs listed in the register. Inspection results have revealed that the majority of these OVTs are in healthy condition. Some of them require basic treatment, including application of insecticide, installation of cable bracings and pruning of dead branches. The department has started the treatment work and will continue to closely monitor the condition of these OVTs and carry out the necessary treatment for their continued healthy growth.

     Following thorough examination of the tree inspection results by LCSD in consultation with the local tree expert group, LCSD decided to remove five trees due to their poor condition and potential danger to the public. There are no practicable measures to keep them. Resulting from this tree inspection exercise, four OVTs have already been removed (registration numbers WTS/1, YTM/71, SSP/13 and N/48). With these five to be removed, the total number is 1.8% of the OVTs under the department's management.

     The five OVTs that need to be removed are: a Fiddle-leaved Fig (Ficus lyrata) and a Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla) in Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens, with respective registration numbers CW/45 and CW/70; a Chinese Hackberry (Celtis sinensis), E/6, in Lei Yue Mun Park; a South China Honeylocust (Gleditsia fera), E/37, in Victoria Park; and a Lebbeck Tree (Albizia lebbeck), S/19, at South Bay Beach.

     After examining the inspection results in detail together with the local tree expert group, the department considers that the trees are in poor health condition and have no chance of recovery. They pose a potential danger to the public. Since there is no feasible measure to stabilise them or improve their health, the department has decided to remove them for public safety. The condition of the five trees are listed in the appendix.

     The department stressed that it would continue to adopt a prudent approach in managing its trees. Only when there was no feasible measure to keep a tree would it be removed as a last resort to protect public safety.

     The department started the inspection exercise of the trees in the Register in late August. In order to strengthen and speed up the tree inspection work, the department enlisted the support of US arborists.

Ends/Thursday, October 9, 2008

Appendix:

 

Registration number

Species

Location

Reasons for removal

CW/45

Fiddle-leaved Fig

Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens, the end edge of the Menagerie

Under attack by woodborers. Health condition deteriorating. Not responding well to pesticides applied. Tree dying gradually. Located beside a pedestrian walkway and hence poses potential danger to the public.

CW/70

Norfolk Island Pine

Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens, close to Garden Road

Trunk seriously damaged by pests. No signs of improvement after application of pesticides and cleaning up treatment. Decay worsening. Posing danger of collapse and potential threat to public.

E/6

Chinese Hackberry

Lei Yue Mun Park and Holiday Village, near the Orchid House

Slime flux detected on main trunk. Abnormal defoliation. Trunk attacked by fungi. Despite different targeted treatments, tree gradually withering and poses potential danger to park visitors.

E/37

South China Honeylocust

Victoria Park, at the South Slope of the mound

Serious defoliation and is almost wilted. Health condition has not improved despite intensive care. Tree located at a sloping mound besides a main thoroughfare in the park with high pedestrian flow. To be removed for public safety.

S/19

Lebbeck Tree

South Bay Beach, near the staircase no.4

Cavity found near the bottom of the main trunk and has been enlarging. Main branch showing serious internal decay. Weakened branches have potential danger of collapse. Tree located on a slope and near a road, making it difficult to provide extra support for stabilising it. To be removed for public safety.

 

 
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