Thursday, June 19, 2008

ISA HK/China --- FAQ about SGF 2008 and Day Tour

Dear Station Members & General Public,

So many phone calls have come in since the announcement of the SGF 2008 Expo on Station Mail yesterday that a FAQ list has become necessary to answer popular enquiries to maximize efficiency in ISA HK/China:

1. It is free without cost to join the Day Tour of Nparks on Saturday July 26, 2008, if you have registered with us before July 20. Participants only have to share cost for the transport which is insignificant.

2. We intend to maintain the capacity of attendance on the Day Tour to below 20 persons. However, this is negotiable if more, or groups, would like to attend, if decided worthwhile by ISA HK/China.

3. The Day Tour will be conducted in English only. Translation into Chinese of every word is unlikely in order not to disturb the progress.

4. We would recommend people in our landscape industry to join, be they designers, practitioners, officials, conservationists, suppliers, contractors, or just anybody. However, our public is also welcomed, but they will be told in professional languages & they will have to succumb to our arrangement while in Singapore.

5. Anyone does not have to register with seminars of SGF, before joining the Day Tour on July 26. Anyone is free to go to Singapore as a tourist & just join us on that day. However, you must register with us before July 20 so that we know you are coming.

6. Anyone is free to ask questions during the Day Tour to anybody, but in an orderly & respectable manner, please. Singapore is a country giving order & discipline a priority.

7. We shall not publicly disclose the list of participants of the Day Tour in Station Mail. Those of you who are Civil Servants can rest assured of your privacy. However, you will be seen by everybody during the Day Tour although you do not have to introduce yourselves. ISA HK/China will maintain privacy of all participants whenever required & possible. Please note that while in Singapore, even your blood feuds will have to abide by the laws there. You will be protected.

8. The cheapest & most efficient way to go, if you wish to only browse SGF in general & attend the Day Tour, would be to arrive in Singapore on Friday July 25, look through SGF & then join the Day Tour on July 26, & leave on the last flight to HK in the evening. The cheapest flight now is only around HKD 1500 return & budget hotel would cost HKD 300 a night.

9. Please do not bring any person below 16 years of age along. This is not a family visit but a serious educational tour.

10. You do not have to be a Station Member to join the SGF & Day Tour. Everyone is welcomed. However, anyone joining is assumed to behave in a gentlemanly manner, or you may be requested to leave on the spot if required. ISA HK/China must give our host every respect & honour they deserve.

The SGF & Day Tour is an opportunity for anyone in our territory to clarify myths & questions about the success of Singapore Greenery. Many of our local ' Tree Experts' have delivered talks on Singapore tree planting under their own observation & opinions. However this time, ISA HK/China will be led by a high ranking official of Nparks to explain how theses successes were achieved. You are welcomed to make comparison of the Singapore system with our own, & bring it home to tell others. This will be all good for our own greenery development & this is something nobody in our territory has done in such scale before.

ISA HK/China hopes we have answered most of your queries in a bag. If not, you are welcomed to throw over further questions as we go along. By not evading questions, this is how we make ISA HK/China such an acceptable organization in our territory.

best regards,

Sammy Au
Station Manager

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

ISA HK/China --- SGF 2008 Expo

Dear Station Members,

Some you have already learned through birds & bees that ISA HK/China will be organizing a delegation to attend the Singapore Garden Festival 2008 Expo (SGF) from July 24 - 26 this year. At least one of our Govt Depts will also send delegates to attend this regional event. Flyer of the SGF is attached in this message & further details can be obtained through the given website.

ISA HK/China will jointly participate into the SGF with TCHK, ETF, Yee Sun Garden, & MCFH by obtaining a 3m x 3m display booth in the Trade Show area of SGF. Any of you attending SGF is most welcomed to drop in for a chat, or leave your baggage there while walking around (no liabilities by anybody if lost or damaged). Messages can also be left at our display booth for liaison or any other purpose.

It is also known that greenery officials from China & Taiwan will attend the SGF by viewing the attached Invitation List obtained by us in Apr 08, although this list may be updated for addition or adjustment by now. Sentosa Island of Singapore is known to be planning to build 2 casinos & 5 hotels, & will require contractors & plant supply from around the region. ETF has already supplied two FCL's of quality trees to Singapore last year & the process has been as simple as importing into HK from China.

Besides being a good occasion for HK plant suppliers & contractors to seek commercial ventures in this land of opportunities in SGF, it will also be a good time to make contact with China & Taiwan buyers for product & service promotion. SGF will be a much easier opportunity to hook them on than for our businessmen to dive into the fierce competition of their local shows with forever price cutting. Singapore market is known for quality requirement, not the cheapest price.

In order to enhance the learning of HK participants into SGF this round, the National Parks Board of the Singapore Govt (Nparks) has very kindly agreed to organize a seminar with site visit on the development of Singapore Greenery with special focus on Tree Planting with details as follows:

Date: Saturday 26 July, 2008

Starting Time: 10am

Agenda: A one hour seminar on Singapore Greenery, to be followed by site visit to study tree planting in streetscape, parks, housing estates, roadside, Heritage Trees, maintenance, etc., & others.

Event Leader: Mr. Oh Cheow Sheng , Asst Director of Nparks

As we can all see, this is no ordinary seminar plus tour for fun, but for serious education with a high ranking official from Nparks for the benefit of the HK people. We should be all very grateful for Nparks's very kind efforts for this arrangement & it will be an event of a lifetime for our serious Tree Lovers. Our public talk so much about Singapore Greenery in community forums & discussions, & this will be an experience not to be missed by those who would like to study & compare the realities with their own eyes. ISA HK/China would urge our Station Members to join in this very special session besides visiting the SGF, & there will be so much to gain with what to lose.

Therefore, SGF this time is an event not to be missed by the serious. The Day Tour is so special that we do not think any public or official organization from our territory can arrange with ease for the knowledge & benefit of our public. Anybody, Station Member or not, is welcomed to contact us for joining.

We wish to thank Nparks again for this wonderful opportunity for ISA HK/China to learn better on Singapore Greenery with depth. Thank you, Nparks.

Looking forward to hear from anyone wanting to come along with us.


Sammy Au
Station Manager

Travel Information: Budget Airline to Singapore --- Jetstar Airways (
Budget Hotels --- Priceline

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

ISA HK/China --- HK Tree News (Tree Planting in Tai Kok Tsui)

*** 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,

Attached is a recent local news on the proposed tree planting by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) in Tai Kok Tsui to 're-vitalize' the streetscape in this mature district. It was full of good intention & it proposed to plant tree species in accordance with the name of the street, e.g. Cherry for Cherry Street, Oak for Oak Street, & Pine for Pine Street. It also mentioned that studies would be carried out to check suitability of the species at the location by the designers.

Arboriculture is a scientific discipline. It is known in our profession that Arborist practises more as a scientist rather than an artist. For the above proposal, it would be known that Cheery, Oak & most Pines are temperate species which would have survival problem in our tropical summer. Tai Kok Tsui would come to a temperature of 39C in the hot summer as given by the HK Observatory only a little while ago. Also, these proposed species would mostly come from regions where there is no typhoon. HK is a typhoon country & priority may have to be placed on wind failure rather than 'flowering' or anything else. If not, it may be another case of Mother Nature makes the Rules, not any of us. Just look at the number of tree failures in our territory after rainstorms ...

If Alaska would have a street called Coconut Avenue somewhere, would the developer there choose Coconut as the 'Theme' species to green that street? After all, Alaska is more than temperate during winter time with tons of snow everywhere, having tropical palms there would add warmth & comfort to the residents when they are wearing fur coats. But would fantasies fit realities?

Former ETF carried out a lot of research on introducing foreign species for planting in Southern China. A research paper was published by the Station Manager in China in 2002 & is attached in this Station Mail for general reference.

HK people always give admiration to Singapore greenery especially when it comes to tree planting. This is heard from our local Tree Experts time & time again in community forums & discussions. Nevertheless, how many of us would understand the tree planting in Singapore is masterminded by a leading Govt agency called National Parks Board (Nparks) alone? Nparks have about 600 staff looking after over 1.3 million trees in Singapore & over 20% of Nparks staff are Arborists. Arborists would make the final decision on tree planting in Singapore from design, operation to maintenance & not anybody else, ever since Singapore has become a nation. This may be one of the untold secrets behind their success not known to the HK people.

A Station Mail will come out very soon for anyone interested to join the HK Delegation to visit the Singapore Garden Festival 2008 Expo from July 24 - 26, 2008. ISA HK/China has proposed a day tour to study the Singapore tree planting on Friday July 25 or Sunday July 27 for the delegation & anyone interested to join in. This will let the visitors see with their own eyes how & why Singapore tree planting has become so successful.

Looking forward to anyone joining us to visit the SGF 2008 in July. We already have over 13 going even before the announcement.

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. (


欧亚园艺有限公司 欧永森





作者过去所引进的品种大部份是采取‘异地引种’的手法,也即是并非从中国境内取种,而种苗来自世界各地,当中很多品种来自热带雨林,例如棕榈科;但也有许多来自乾旱沙漠,例如仙人掌科。其中有可耐寒至零下22C的耐寒品种,例如 BUTIA CAPITATA,也有可长时间可耐40C高温的PHOENIX DACTYLIFERA。有长期喜欢泡在水里的RAVENEA RIVULARIS,也有下一

个晚上大雨就会产生根腐病的YUCCA ROSTRATA。有天天喜欢强烈暴晒的CARNEGIEA GIGANTEA,也有晒上一天就产生日灼症的SPATHIPHYLLUM FLORIBUNDUM。它们其中有的1克重量的种子就超过80,000粒,例如ACHIMENES HYBRIDA,也有1粒种子可达20KG重量,例如LODOICEA MALDIVICA。在引进的种苗当中,有的是从国外苗场购进,也有部份是作




(1) 光





(2) 温


有些人认为持续高温就必然带来快速生长,其实这是一种错觉,而必须看所引品种来定。举例说,许多商用草花都来自温带地区,它们的开花适温普遍在15C - 25C之间,在华南地区如果生产设施没有控温设备的话,在夏天便完全不能控制开花期,或是花量七零八落,不能达到生产目的。


(3) 湿



(4) 水




(5) 肥




(6) 植料




(7) 病虫害




(8) 风力




* * * * * * * *




Sunday, June 15, 2008

ISA HK/China --- Comparison between ANSI and HSE for Arboricultural Practices

*** 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,

Historically, tree climbing & chainsaw operation in our territory were educated by the British, Australian & lately, US systems. With several systems in place, it has become necessary to study between them, so that myths can be clarified with regard to common belief in our territory whether one system is superior in ways to the others, since it appeared that our Civil Servants were trained in the British system by tradition whereas the public were trained by something else.

In this aspect, ISA HK/China has spent a considerable amount of time to research into the British system & US system, since it is these two systems that our territory frequently refers to & their information is accessible to this Station.

In the US system, the national standard to govern arboricultural work is ANSI z133.1 (2006). This ANSI gives requirements for safety, electrical hazards, vehicles & equipment, power hand tools including chainsaws, hand tools & ladder use, & work procedures including tree climbing, pruning, & rigging. This one set of standards governs all major operations for tree work in the USA & ISA practices would mostly refer to this ANSI for guidelines besides observing local regulations.

In the UK system, it appeared to be the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) which is governing the standards & practices for tree work. HSE has a subsidiary called Arboriculture & Forestry Advisory Group (AFAG) which produced guidelines specifically relating to arboriculture & forestry. HSE & AFAG would provide nearly all the information required in practising arboriculture in Britain.

Upon our studies, it appeared that both ANSI & HSE place similar emphasis on safety & practices in many ways. However, there were also major differences as noted by this station as follows:

Notable Differences between ANSI z133.1 (2006) & HSE Guidelines for Arboricultural Practices

Topic ANSI z133.1 HSE

1. PPE

Helmet, Eye Protection & Safety Boots mandatory All recommended but not mandatory
(See AFAG 401 Tree climbing Operation)

2. Tree Climbing

a. Work positioning System

A climber must be secured at all times on a tree.
Tie-in point should be well above work area.
Do not climb more than 250mm above anchor
point. Slack must not exceed 500mm (see
AFAG 401)

b. Climbing Ropes

Minimum diameter not less than 11mm. Minimum diameter of 10mm (see AFAG 401)

c. Ladder Use

Arborist shall not work from or leave the ladder
until tied-in or otherwise secured. Normally used as a means of access into crown
of tree. Once climber is secured by
ropes/strop & hardness, ladder should be
removed (see AFAG 401)

3. Chainsaws

a. PPE

Helmets, Eye Protection, hearing Aid, Safety Boots
& Chaps while on ground are mandatory. All recommended but not mandatory (see
HSE INDG 317 Chainsaws at Work)

b. age

To comply with local, state or federal regulations. Should not be operated by anyone under
minimum school leaving age or near the age
of 16 years (see HSE INDG 317)

c. Use of chainsaws in tree work

Units shall be operated or maintained only by
authorized & qualified personnel in accordance
with company policies & federal, state or local
laws. A worker should have received appropriate
training & obtained a relevant certificate of
competence or national competence award,
unless they are undergoing such training & are
adequately supervised. (see HSE INDG 317)

d. Refresher training

No specific requirement. Occasional users --- every 2 - 3 years
Full time users --- every 5 years
(see HSE INDG 317)

e. Chainsaw guide bar

Manufacturer’s operating & safety instructions
shall be followed unless modified by this
standard. Choose a chainsaw with the shortest possible
guide bar suitable for the work. (see HSE INDG

f. working from ladders

Prohibited Should only be done by an Arborist trained in &
equipped for tree climbing. (see HSE INDG 317)

g. Chain brake

When a chainsaw is being carried more than two
steps, the chain brake shall be engaged or the
engine shut off. Apply chain brake when walking on site, or if the
saw is not being used for short intervals
(more than 15 secs.) (see AFAG 301)

h. Felling

The crew leader shall determine the number of
workers necessary for tree removal. Felling is a one-person operation. (see AFAG

i. Cuts

Notches shall be used on all trees & trunks
greater than 5 inches (12.7cm) DBH. Always make a sink cut. (see AFAG 302)

j. Chainsaw position to body

Chain saws should be operated away from the
vicinity of legs & feet. Keep the saw close to the body & support the
weight of the saw on the tree or right thigh. (see
AFAG 303)

k. One handed use of chainsaw

The arborist or other workers shall hold the saw
firmly with both hands, keeping the thumb &
fingers wrapped around the handle. Should be restricted to circumstances where one
hand is required to maintain a stable position &
the saw is used at extended reach with the other
hand. (see AFAG 308)

l. Felling size

No specific requirements Require LANTRA Awards if cutting material
under 200mm diameter. Require NPTC Cert. of
Competence if cutting material over 200mm.
(see AFAG 805)

Besides the above major differences listed above, this Station has found that both ANSI & HSE are using very similar principles & practices for tree work & safety. Both are excellent standards to conduct proper arboricultural procedures in our territory. Further studies would be necessary to pick the best practices among them to perhaps merge to suit our local condition, weather & sites.

TCHK ( will conduct its 2nd Chainsaw Operation (On Ground) on Sunday 29.6.08 to the public. This module will follow ANSI z133.1 (2006) for safety & practices. Anyone interested please contact TCHK for booking at their convenience.

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. (