Friday, August 10, 2007

ISA HK/China --- HK Tree News (Tree Failures after Typhoon Pabuk)

*** 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,

The mini-typhoon of Pabuk practically came as nothing to feel on Aug 9, 2007 to attack HK. Most of us would feel more rain than any effect on wind really. According to HK Observatory's information, typhoon signal no. 3 of wind between 41 - 62 kmh was hoisted for a mere 8 hours. Even with that, a reported 35 Tree Failures happened all over HK as per the attached newspaper cutting & the following link:

This Station wants to emphasis that the above is the 'reported failures', not including those not reported to Govt authorities. No one would probable know the true figures of Tree Failures all over HK in any typhoon incident because we do not have an agency to collect them.

Matures Trees have now become time bombs in our city particularly in storm & wind. Most of the Tree Failures encountered in our city belong to the Mature Trees category. Mature Trees are all over the place now in streets, parks, housing estates & highways. This would mean tree owners & tree managers would need to be held liable for their trees, if they failed to hit someone or properties causing injuries or damages. Yet how many of them have ever sought the assistance of arborists for inspection, risk management or maintenance? Are arborists not qualified to carry out tree work? Then who is?

In our city, Tree Failures rarely would hit headline in the media. Tree Failures are no attraction as compared to some Mainland Chinese family chopping each other to pieces & throwing their children over the balcony. Trees are dispensable & they are there to abuse. When our city temperature becomes too high, our 'experts' would submit their 'innovation' on 'Roof Top Greening' instead, not planting & caring trees in the proper manner. Some would even encourage us to learn 'proper landscaping' from China. What have we become after 1997 ??

HK's success has been from learning & comparing with the world in the past 150 years. By now, nearly all our Station Members would agree the same when it comes to practising arboriculture as well. ISA is the biggest & most historical arbor organization in the world since 1924. If we do not develop ISA arboriculture in HK like Singapore has done, should learn it from our brothers & sisters up north?

If the trees in HK would improve like in Singapore for all their benefits to be given to our public, maybe our proposed Arboricultural Office is a necessity to achieve this important objective.

Requiring an Arborist Report for any Tree Inspection, Tree Felling, Tree Pruning & Tree Transplantation at the various Govt Depts including the DLO may be the shotest & simplest solution for better tree care at present.

best regards,

Sammy Au
Station Manager

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