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Expert Panel on Tree Management discusses management strategy of Old and Valuable Trees infected with Brown Root Rot Disease
     At the special meeting today (August 30), the Expert Panel on Tree Management (EPTM) discussed about the long term management strategy of the Old and Valuable Trees (OVTs) that have been confirmed infection with the Brown Root Rot Disease (BRRD).

     Members noted that the government is very concerned about the loss of Hong Kong’s urban forestry assets due to BRRD. The Greening, Landscape and Tree Management Section (GLTMS) of the Development Bureau has thus placed great importance to stepping up efforts in proactively managing the disease. Members agreed that there is no effective cure for BRRD at present. The current prevention and control measures cannot eradicate the disease which can spread swiftly due to its highly pathogenic nature.  The members also acknowledged that fungicide treatment can only eliminate the signs of the disease but cannot effectively eradicate the fungal pathogen. Structural deterioration of the infected trees due to wood decay cannot be recovered.

     The GLTMS reported in details the assessment criteria for the handling priority of the infected OVTs and identified several OVTs that merit priority attention in view of their declining health and structural conditions, risks to public safety and impact to other healthy trees in the vicinity. The GLTMS will further provide detailed information to the EPTM on individual infected OVT for consideration of suitable management methods. GLTMS will reinforce the importance to tree management departments of stepping up the supervision of sanitation measures associated with frontline work. Departments will continue to follow the guidelines, and closely monitor the infected trees’ conditions.
     To enhance public education, the GLTMS is actively pursuing a public seminar or symposium on BRRD in the first half of 2017 with a range of local, regional and international experts in applied research and practitioners of BRRD.
Ends/Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Issued at HKT 20:23
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