Monday, July 12, 2010

ISA HK/China --- HK Tree News (Planting Trees for "Good Looking")

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Dear Station Members,

As predicted earlier in Station Mail, the outcry of the media in recent Tree Failures would draw in the attention of the politicians for a concerted event. The two sets of tree news from the biggest newspaper in HK depicted all kinds of speculations on Tree Planting, mostly negative, to incinerate the issues further among the commoner public. They are also giving opportunities to the local Tree Experts to attack on Govt Tree Planting, & yet the Tree Management Office (TMO) of HK does not appear to react effectively to balance off the attack, which is seen to be within their domain.

In Common Law, if one side accuses the other side for an action & the other side does not respond, it may constitute an implied agreement of the accusation in Court. ISA HK/China would always respond to any accusation that is regarded as unjust, & we have trained ourselves razor-sharp to attend to attack.

On the other hand, what the critics claimed "Planting the Wrong Trees for the sake of Good Looking" may be agreed by some working in the landscaping industry. Trees in the past were mostly picked for "flowering & scent". Yet many of these planted species belong to soft-wood trees come in with poor structure & negative health from China. Bauhinia species is one of them & Delonix is another. Coupling with undersized root ball & planting in a small tree pit, these trees have little hope to stand strong in wind.

Another example would be planting Ficus species as Roadside Trees in some of our recent greening projects. Ficuses are known to have aggressive roots & spreading canopy. Hard pruning is the only way to contain them from conflict with the traffic & structures next to them, & this will create wounds after wounds on a growing tree. Some of these wounds may not heal adequately before the pests would get in. Then the tree will go into decline & turn into maintenance liabilities.

When trees fail, the media will be the first to smell blood, for the rest of the shark gang to come & take the savage. Dirt digging will begin & dust will fly all over the place to make enough disturbance to settle. Therefore, it may be wise to review the whole process of Tree Planting to avoid this.

Tree Planting in HK has unexpectedly turned into a political tug-of war, & we may need to think why it could have all happened. If we do not understand the cause of the disease, we may never cure it. It may be even more positive to think of how to stop it from happening again, so that our trees can be a social asset instead of endless liabilities.

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."

PS :

1. ISA HK/China has given a Radio Interview to Metro Radio FM997 on Tree Management. The recording will come out at 8 pm on 26.7.2010 for a consecutive of 5 evenings. There is also a TVB interview going on with ISA HK/China last week & this week, & we shall inform the broadcasting time later.

2. We shall announce the next ISA Tree Seminar to be on or around Friday July 30 in Station Mail within this week.














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