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Dear Station Members,
These appalling pictures were sent in by a Station Member on his way to work. Apparently some kind of 'Tree Protection' work was been carried out in accordance with approved design & specifications for existing trees for the enjoyment of the public.
It can be seen that the root zone near the trunk were ringed by an elevated planter wall & the root spreading area seemingly compacted by building materials. It is likely that topsoil will be added into the elevated planter for shrub/groundcover planting to 'beautify' the design. It is probably regarded that the eventual outcome would justify the time & expenses well spent by public funding.
The stone planter wall would weigh around a ton to cut into the radial roots of the existing trees. There may even be some kind of concrete foundation to support the stone planter wall & root cutting may become necessary to accommodate the foundation. If any topsoil is to be added into the inside of the planter for whatever purpose, further root suffocation for the tree & drainage problem may occur, killing the roots under even further.
The dying process may not happen immediately but gradually. Dieback at the canopy would first appear & the trees would gradually lose vigour. Leaves may drop. Pest problem & decay may appear as a secondary attack. Then may come some storm or wind, & the trees or their parts would fell to hit the ground below.
Then some would call it an 'Act of God', never the fault of human intervention.
Poor trees indeed which have no way to protest for all the malpractice & ill-treatment they have received. We human do not appreciate that when trees are in trouble, we are also in trouble. Look at how our city temperature has raised & how air is polluted. Research has shown that a good tree planting community usually lower crime, heal the mind & body faster, & the residents lives in better harmony. Look at Singapore as an example. Good tree planting does have its psychological benefits & it is up to we human to explore them. If more of our public can be attracted to discuss trees instead of universal suffrage, we shall have less social unrest & screaming in our media.
These poor trees may fell to hit someone or something eventually. The designers & tree owners may wake up one day when they were to be invited to face an Expert Witness Arborist in Court for a civil claim. Arborist can prove with research & experience that soil compaction & root suffocation can damage trees. Can the opposite side prove vice versa?
In HK, we always hear our Greenery personnel are busy at work. Is this the kind of work that they are busy at? Are we result-orientated in our attitude towards work any more? Or do we just enjoy heavy work?
And whose money is being spent?