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Expert group to advise on preservation of old and valuable trees holds first meeting

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) has appointed an Expert Group on Preservation of Old and Valuable Trees. The Expert Group held its first meeting today (September 20).

Membership of the Expert Group comprises the Chairman of Hong Kong Trees Conservation Association, Professor Hui Lam-hing; Senior Manager of the Flora Conservation Department of Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, Dr Lawrence Chau; Conservation Manager of the Conservancy Association Mr So Kwok-yin; and Mr Simon Yu.

At its meeting, the members discussed actions for stabilising and taking intensive care of a Chinese banyan tree at Kowloon Park and measures to protect other trees on the Register of Old and Valuable Trees.

The Expert Group agreed with the following actions for the Chinese banyan tree at Kowloon Park:

- to conduct tests to identify the type of fungus that affects the tree and then administers the right fungicide;
- to further remove concrete slabs in the peripheral area at the base of the tree in order to broaden the soil area;
- to continue the closure of the area where the tree is situated to prevent park-goers from stepping on the soil;
- to carry out foliar feeding; and
- to continue using bamboo poles to facilitate the growth of aerial roots to the soil surface and their development into supporting roots.

After the meeting the group inspected the Chinese banyan tree at Kowloon Park. The group gave advice to the Architectural Services Department on measures to further stabilize the tree.

The expert group will meet three to four times a year. Ad hoc meetings will be called when necessary. The group will advise the LCSD on the measures required to protect and preserve the old and valuable trees and how to provide a healthy environment conducive to their well-being. They will also advise on measures to resolve problems relating to preserving the old and valuable trees and other matters relating to tree preservation.

Ends/Thursday, September 20, 2007
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