Wednesday, February 3, 2010

ISA HK/China --- HK Tree News (Felling of the Maryknoll Araucaria?)

*** 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 , although images are usually not attached due to size. ***

Dear Station Members,

The media news received below by ISA HK/China this morning came at rather a surprise to the Station Manager.

The Araucaria tree at Maryknoll School is now being considered to be felled for public safety reason, after claimed drainage work nearby might have de-stabilized the roots of this tall & leaning tree.

Everyone in ISA HK/China knows that this tree was assessed by the Station Manager way back in Nov 2008, & the recommendation was 'felling' from the observations & data collected. The Station Manager did not have the luxury of deploying any Decay Detection Device ( for the inspection, which he regarded as unnecessary anyway, with the apparent status of the tree at that time in relation with the growing location. All there were used was a mallet, keen observation & his knowledge & experience of 25+ years as a nurseryman, landscape contractor & Independent Practicing Arborist ( combined, for a qualitative analysis.

This tree was then decided to be retained after further assessments by Govt Depts & other Tree Experts, with the help of advanced machines such as Tomograph & Resistograph. It also went through a 4-month Protection Period by a Govt-employed expert for its preservation at public expenditure. It is very sad now that it has become a potential subject of removal after a 'slipped through' drainage work to damage it, under the daily supervision of the School & watchful eyes of the Authorities.

The future of this tree will be known very soon. It will be regrettable if it has to be removed after all the time, funding & technical expertise to save it. On the other hand, it will be Mother Makes the Rules, if it is to be retained. The consequence can be very serious if this tree accidently fails to hit any target below. It will be a difficult decision to be made indeed.

Trees in HK have become a sensitive topic in the public arena, & may the future Tree Management Office take the helm & steer it in the right direction.

best regards,

Sammy Au
Station Manager

"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."









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