Tuesday, February 26, 2008

ISA HK/China --- HK Tree News (Sheung Shui OVT Camphor)

*** Our weekly 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. Please note Station Mail is sometimes given in Blog at http://isahkchina.blogspot.com/ , although images are usually not attached due to size. ***

Dear Station Members,

It is all another sad piece of news that another of our Old & Valuable Tree (OVT) was apparently damaged by construction work in Sheung Shui recently.

The attached news described the OVT apparently suffered from root suffocation by concrete paving during construction work which led to diebacks in canopy. The relevant authority, after being informed, took measure to mitigate the problem with raised platform & this tree is now placed under observation to hope for the best. For mature tree of this kind, it may take a long time to recover, if ever.

Although our Govt have already issued contractual guidelines to protect our OVT & many other mature trees, from event as described, such measures did not seem to fall on the right ears. This Station feels our Govt have done a lot of work to protect & preserve our trees with the many seminars & training within Depts which enthusiastically supported the program. However, despite nearly 30 seminars by the rhetoric Station Manager at CITA shouting for reasons to protect & care for our trees, little change can be seen from people involved in the work. CITA students were there because there was compulsion & the lectures became vivid show to a lot of them, rather than genuine converting. Tree design & specification carry on pretty much the same, & the same quality trees from China continue to arrive to plant our landscape.

It may be true that our public would want to genuinely protect our trees consciously. However, in construction or development, it may be more convenient to carry out the work without regard to existing trees which can be viewed as an obstacle to progress. When compared to dry commercial interest, trees may have to give way to become the loser. To some after all, they are only ' trees'. Why should they deserve all the respect?

Back to the analogy of Opium Smoking in Older China, most people would thought it as wrong but would not stop doing it. Outcry was ignored. Then when the gun boats arrived, many went on praying & blamed on everything else. Should the same happen to our trees when the typhoon arrives?

This Station wonders what would happen if the same tree damage above would occur in Singapore?

best regards,

Sammy Au
Station Manager

The ISA Mission - Through research, technology, and education, promote the professional practice of arboriculture and foster a greater public awareness of the benefits of trees. (http://www.isa-arbor.com/)

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