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Dear Station Members,
The internet news below described how the Tree Failure at Robinson Road, on the night where the Chief Secretary His Honourable Mr. Henry Tang just visited trees all over HK during the day, would appear as a warning shot from our urban trees on their unpredictability to fail & injure. Luckily this time the motor-cyclist of mis-fortune was only slightly hurt by the falling tree. It may be something of a bigger event next time.
If an Arboricultural Office (ArbO) can be set up by the HK Govt to coordinate all Tree Affairs in HK, it would be seen as a major advancement in Tree Care for HK & even in the Far East. ISA HK/China has proposed such an idea back in July 2007 (see attached). However, the need for it then was not as pushing as for it now.
It would be good if this proposed ArbO can review & coordinate all Tree Planting in HK from design, installation, maintenance, regular inspection, risk management, protection & conservation to public education, for trees new & old in Govt & Private Land. Future Landscape Plans & Greenery Master Plans with regard to trees may require endorsement from this Office to ensure good quality trees are installed in the right places, since the usual option for installing poor trees would be an eventual removal & expensive maintenance before that. The contractors & maintenance should not be the only parties to blame always, & the system should be renovated to meet realities.
The ArbO is likely to be a mini-Govt on its own to govern not humans, but a population of trees. While there may be several hundred human races on earth, there are a known +100,000 species of trees so recorded, with perhaps millions not yet discovered or identified in our planet. The ArbO can be seen to be no easy task to carry out all its duties, & it will be our blessings to its staff in its first few years in operation.
If ArbO could not meet the expectation of public in time to come, complaints such as the other piece of news attached (HK Tree News --- Results of recent Greening) may arrive. This piece of news moaned about public funds (+HK$630 millions?) being spent without desirable outcome at the end. +HK$630 millions should be regarded as a lot of money on Greening & it would be an enviable sum by many western local councils to have it in the budget call. It is real sad that the media would file a rejection as described, & luckily the Arborists did not appear to be involved in this occasion.
HK appears to be thinking of catching up in Tree Planting with western nations in terms of safety & amenities. However, can the traditional thinking of 'Flowering & Scent' be replaced with Structure & Health?
May HK shine herself like the Pearl of the Orient even for her trees to let our brothers & sisters up north to come & compare with western nations & Singapore someday.
"If a tree is not designed, installed, maintained & inspected properly, it is likely to become a liability rather than an asset."
"Trees are good for the community. Trees need care like human beings. Arborists are the Tree Care Professionals."