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Old tree in Kowloon Park removed for public safety

     An Old and Valuable Tree (OVT) that was found to be at potential risk of collapse was removed from Kowloon Park in Yau Tsim Mong District today (August 14) for public safety, a spokesman for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) said.

     The tree was a Ficus microcarpa, about 15 metres tall, located near the Woodland Walk in Kowloon Park. The tree was under the management of the LCSD and listed on the Register of OVTs with the registration number LCSD YTM/65.

     The spokesman said that the tree was found to have symptoms of brown root rot (BRR) disease during an inspection carried out by LCSD in April last year. Upon further detailed inspection by the Tree Management Office (TMO) under the Development Bureau, the tree was confirmed to be infected with BRR in May of the same year. In the past year, LCSD staff had stepped up inspection and maintenance of the tree, including installing cables to strengthen the support of the tree and applying fungicide. However, its health condition showed no improvement.

     In April this year, the LCSD conducted a comprehensive structural assessment of the tree (including resistographic assessment) and confirmed that the strength of most of the structural roots was poor and at high risk of collapse. After a joint on-site inspection and discussion, the TMO and the Expert Panel on Tree Management comprising non-official tree experts under the Development Bureau confirmed that the tree was severely infected with BRR. As the tree was located near a main pedestrian access to the park, it was agreed that the tree should be removed for public safety and to prevent the spread of BRR disease to other trees in the park. The removal works were completed by LCSD today.

     The spokesman said that the department would continue to adopt a prudent approach in inspecting and managing trees under its care.  Removal of problematic trees will be undertaken only when no other viable option is available.

     Meanwhile, three OVTs managed by the LCSD were added to the OVT Register in July this year. They include a Ficus virens located at Tuen Mun Park (LCSD TM/6), a Ficus microcarpa at Yan Ching Street (LCSD TM/7) in Tuen Mun District, and a Ficus microcarpa located at Yau Ma Tei Community Centre Rest Garden (LCSD YTM/113) in Yau Tsim Mong District.  Members of the public can visit the website of the LCSD's OVT Register ( for details and pictures of these OVTs.

Ends/Thursday, August 14, 2014
Issued at HKT 15:01


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