Monday, July 30, 2012
ISA HK/China --- Aftermath of Typhoon Vicente on 23.7.2012 台风 "韦森特" 2012.7.24 掠过香港以后
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台风 "韦森特" 於 2012年7月24日凌晨时份, 在香港的西南面约130公里处掠过, 虽然它没有正面吹袭香港, 但对市区里的树木则带来严重破坏。按照传媒报导, 截至7月26日为止, 政府方面共有2,000 宗以上的塌树报告, 过 7,000 棵的树木被吹倒或吹断，这可能是香港有记录以来，市区树木被损坏最严重的其中一次。
13年前香港也经历过一次10号风球， 当年的台风 "约克" 只是造成了 282 宗的塌树报告, 而在1999年, 香港并未有推行 "树木评估' 和 "风险减免" 等等树木管理工作。 如今的香港已推行了 "树木评估' 、 "风险减免" 和 "全民验树" 等活动已经3年, 为何这次倒树却是 13 年前的 7 倍多? 是否又把它推到 "自然灾害" 的解释当中？
传媒揭发了有倒树的土球连包装袋都没有拆掉, 在小树洞里种上大树, 许多断落的品种属於 "脆木" 树种等等，这又可否算得上是 "自然灾害" 吗？
"韦森特"过去了, 但不能肯定恶梦已经完结。 许多倒下挡路的大树, 给建筑工人或园丁干脆的砍掉拦路的枝干部份，用的切法往往是 "去顶法", 这可能会令树体结构被切底破坏。 树顶被风吹撕裂的伤口如不及时处理, 日后会造成内部腐烂。 倾斜的树体如不马上扶正支撑, 会造成日后倒塌, 变成危险树。 但过去数天本分会长所见到的, 只有普通工人在现场工作，并没有看到有树艺师在现场监督，这又可以吗？
受破坏的树木如不及时获得正当处理, 可能会变成都市里的 "不定时炸弹"。 树木的设计、种植、护养和检查, 如果不交由 "树木医生" 的树艺师来承担, 最终只会是 "大自然去决定成败', 而不是由任何人！
国际树木学会 中华地区分会 会长 暨 创办人
美洲顾问树艺师学会 顾问树艺师号 RCA#497 (http://isahkchina.blogspot.com/2010/12/isa-hkchina-rac-in-asia.html)
澳洲顾问树艺师学会 顾问树艺师号 ACM 0412011 (http://www.iaca.org.au/)
资深树艺师/注册攀树师号 HK-0174BT (http://isahkchina.blogspot.com/2011/03/isa-hkchina-frist-bcma-in-asia.html)
执业树艺师号 IPA-010908 (http://isahkchina.blogspot.com/2010/04/isa-hkchina-tree-news-1441-report.html)
专业调解及谈判学会 注册调解员号 CM-0044 (http://isahkchina.blogspot.com/2012/01/isa-hkchina-mediation.html)
“如果树木在设计和种植时犯错，其护养必然昂贵，而最终也会变成 "不定时炸弹" 。 ”
“速成出来的树木评估员, 只能作出低质量的猜測。 大自然会决定成败。 ”
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Dear Station Members,
Typhoon Vicente skimmed passed HK at early morning of July 24, 2012 at about 130 km southwest (http://www.weather.gov.hk/wxinfo/currwx/tc_pos_1210.htm ). The widespread destruction it has done to the urban tree planting is seen to be unprecedented in the memory of the Station Manager (SM), ever since he came back to live in HK in 1984. From the photos sent in by Station Members, the urban trees in HK seemed to have been bombed. Fallen trees & broken branches were everywhere. Roads were obstructed by them for days. Properties were damaged & the traffic was slowed down because of the failed trees. Public discontent was high, & the media have attacked for days on the event.
One media reported on 26.7.2012 that more than 2,000 cases of tree failures were reported to the authorities (see attached), with some 7,000 trees fallen or broken. More information of this can be viewed at the following links in Chinese :
The last No. 10 signal typhoon to hit HK was in September 1999. Unlike Vicente, the Typhoon York hit HK directly on the front. However, from the media report in the above links, there were only 282 cases of tree failures reported to the authorities. No "Tree Risk Assessment" (TRA) or "Risk Mitigation Measure" was carried out at that time. HK has begun TRA for more than 3 years since 2009, & many trees should have their "risks" removed or reduced. Then why does HK have more tree failures (nearly 7 times!) after TRA now, than before without in 1999? The SM has been asked this question by the media, & could not answer.
If the tree failures of Vicente are to be entirely blamed as an "Act of God", then the media has discovered that some fallen trees did not have their rootball wrapping removed during planting, large trees were planted in small planters, & a lot of the broken branches belong to the "brittle species" with weak wood in the design. Then can all these be called an "Act of God" ? The SM could not answer any of these questions again, & told the media to seek them from the authorities instead.
Now Vicente has passed & it may not the end of the nightmare. Many failed trees were "topped" away to allow traffic through. Many leaning trees were not erected immediately. Broken branches at the tip of the canopy have been left untouched which can lead to decay. Some trees may have their internal fibers torn out by wind but are still standing without external symptom displayed. Other trees may have their roots torn in part, but not failing for the moment. If these structural defects are not picked out & corrected immediately, the damaged trees would simply turn into Time Bombs to cause more "Act of God" in future. Yet some of the hidden defects would need expert eyes to identify, & the work would take time & cost to complete. Does HK have the resources?
In the past few days, the SM has seen tree clearance work started by the contractors. He has not yet seen one case of an Arborist supervising the work (90+% of the Arborists in HK are our Station Members), but rather, he has seen mostly construction workers & common gardeners operating chainsaws to top & cut without adequate PPE. Does it mean that the correction work will be done again in future by Arborists to rectify the defects? If a tree is topped, can we still "structurally prune" ?
Urban trees in HK may never be the same again after this Typhoon Vicente. Maybe we need to think of why for the next time.
Would HK now place Arborists to be in charge of tree planting from design, installation, inspection to protection, or let Mother Nature make the Rules yet again in future?
Founding President (Station Manager) of ISA HK/China (http://isahkchina.blogspot.com/ )
Registered Consulting Arborist no. RCA#497 (http://isahkchina.blogspot.com/2010/12/isa-hkchina-first-rca-in-asia.html )
Institute of Australian Consulting Arboriculturists Accredited Member no. ACM 0412011 (http://www.iaca.org.au/ )
ISA Board Certified Master Arborist / Certified Tree Worker no. HK-0174BT (http://isahkchina.blogspot.com/2011/03/isa-hkchina-first-bcma-in-asia.html )
Independent Practicing Arborist no. IPA-010908 (http://isahkchina.blogspot.com/2010/04/isa-hkchina-hk-tree-news-14410-report.html )
Society of Certified Mediators and Negotiators Certified Mediator no. CM-0044 (http://isahkchina.blogspot.com/2012/01/isa-hkchina-mediation.html )
"Providing treatment without in-depth diagnosis & research support is professional misconduct. "
"Casual tree assessor delivers wanton tree assessment. Mother Nature makes the rules."