Monday, July 9, 2007

ISA HK/China --- Tree failures all over HK in June 07 during rain

*** Station Mail is for the information of Station Members only, but Station Mail has given up copyright & can be freely circulated. For administrative reasons, comments from outsiders are usually not entertained & may be circulated within our system locally & overseas.***

Dear Station Members,

Even before HK enters the typhoon season but only monsoon rain, trees are failing everywhere all over our territory day by day. Our trees have apparently become our liabilities rather than an asset when compared to our regional partners seemingly by fact these days.

Attached newspaper cuttings just showed some of the recent incidents reported by one of the newspapers. This Station actually received another report of a 1m diameter Ficus of over 10m height failed to lie across Queen's Road Central only this morning, seriously disrupting the traffic in the busiest commercial area of HK at the busiest time. The inconvenience & resentment of the public will be expressed in future open discussions among the activist groups & politicians, which may take the opportunity to demand for better tree care for our Mature Trees in HK.

In reality, ISA is not a political organization & in fact, ISA & our Station are both neutral in politics & unbiased in our comments towards anybody. ISA is an education & research entity. Our Station would only discuss the facts with our professional comments in arboriculture. Sometimes we would provide suggestions, but never put them strongly over any demand. It will be up to the relevant parties to make their own decisions. Our Station has received numerous complaints from our Station Members in the past to stand up strong in our position to demand this & that, but we have explained & declined every time due to our governed policies. We are simply not an activist group. It is our Integrity, Professionalism & Participation that make us do our work for the benefit of our society.

Mature Trees in HK nowadays seem to have become the time bombs in our city, particularly over the rainy & typhoon seasons. If no positive action is to be done over it, more tree failures may be anticipated in the near future. Our Station receives tree failure cases constantly from our Station Members & we do not have enough coverage to report them all. It may be up to a point that our public would become so fed up & say enough is enough, & what would happen after that? Our Station recommends the setting up of an Arboricultural Office in our Govt to coordinate Tree inspection, Tree Assessment, Structural Pruning, Tree Selection, Tree Planting, Tree Removal, Tree Preservation, Arbor Training & Community Campaign, etc. However, we only suggest but not demand. We are not in a position to demand anything. That is not our job.

HK may be getting a taste of her own medicine for not doing enough for tree care in the past. If the same would happen in Singapore today, would there be a court of several whipping?

best regards,

Sammy Au
Station Manager

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