Old and Valuable Tree at Luen Wan Street Sitting-out Area removed for public safety

     In order to ensure public safety, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) today (August 29) removed an Old and Valuable Tree (OVT) at Luen Wan Street Sitting-out Area (SOA) in Mong Kok, which was infected with brown root rot (BRR) disease and posed a potential risk of collapse.

     The tree was a 13-metre-tall Chinese banyan (Ficus microcarpa) located in a planter of the SOA next to a vehicular access road. It was listed on the Register of OVTs with the registration number LCSD YTM/104.

     The tree was confirmed to have BRR infection in May 2016. The department had all along carried out regular inspections and maintenance of the tree, including crown cleaning, cabling and application of fungicide. However, the health and structural condition of the tree deteriorated. Decreased foliage density and obvious signs of advanced wood decay at the trunk base were found, indicating a serious infection of BRR disease and a potential risk of the tree's collapse.

     The Tree Management Office (TMO) of the Development Bureau and the Urban Forestry Advisory Panel (UFAP) inspected the tree in March 2017. Upon receiving the tree removal proposal recommended by the LCSD in June 2017, the TMO and the UFAP had no objection to the removal of the tree. The LCSD arranged for the tree felling today to ensure public safety and control the spread of BRR disease.

     A spokesman for the LCSD said that the department will 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 risk mitigation measure is available.

Ends/Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Issued at HKT 17:48