Monday, June 30, 2008

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

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Dear Station Members,

The Typhoon Fangshen which hit Southern China last week caused insignificant damage when compared to the Black Rain two weeks ago. Since hardly any other greenery organization in HK would keep track with Tree Failures locally, ISA HK/China has taken the blunt to record Tree Failures the best we can from collection from media & reports from Station Members, so that future analysis can be carried out by researchers.

Fangshen was actually more a Tropical Depression rather than a typhoon when it attacked HK, with windspeed generally in range of 60 kmh in open area. Even with this gentle wind force, 41 counts of Tree Failures were reported to the Govt & 17 persons were injured, two seriously, & hospitalized.

Tree falling on cars & power lines were reported. The branch failure at Tin Ha Road appeared to be Co-dominant with Included Bark. Since this tree has been on roadside, the defects should have been long detected & taken care of instead of a failure. In Court, this can be proved to be a clear case of Negligence by an Independent Practicing Arborist without escape.

The Tree Failure in Happy Valley damaged 4 cars outside a police station & 3 of the cars were said to belong to the police inside. However, this is likely to be Civil Torts only & the police can sue but not prosecute in its apparent nature.

Hardly any public outcry was heard after the Fangshen tree failures. Maybe the HK people are getting used to Tree Failures & would regard them to be Acts of God. If the same events would happen in western countries & Singapore, the outcome may be rather different indeed.

Maybe the insurers & lawyers ought to get in touch more with the Arborists ...

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. (

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