Trees in Shek Kip Mei to be saved at cost of HK$1m in revamp
More than two-thirds of the trees around 15 seven-storey residential blocks on the city's oldest public housing estate will be preserved when the buildings are demolished in June.
Of the 56 trees in the redevelopment area of the 53-year-old Shek Kip Mei Estate, 38 will be either kept on-site or transplanted. The rest will be felled. The Housing Department said the project would cost around HK$1 million.
'Some trees have to be cut down as they are unhealthy, in poor form or are expected to wither after transplantation,' the department's senior landscape architect, Evans Iu Po-lung, said.
'Paperbark trees are the most vulnerable as their roots are sensitive. They will probably not survive if they are moved,' said Mr Iu.
Three paperbark trees are among the 18 to be felled, which include two banyans and two parasol leaf trees, among other species.
The 10 quadrangular blocks in the estate will be replaced with four 40-storey Y-shaped blocks, to accommodate about 6,000 people.
Deputy director of housing (development and construction) Ada Fung Yin-suen said the design had been chosen to preserve as many of the trees as possible, some which were between 30 and 40 years old.
'If we built three cross-shaped blocks to accommodate the same number of people, all the trees would have to be removed,' she said.
The department's senior architect Teresa Yim Siu-ling said the design would ensure good air circulation at the estate and in Woh Chai Street.
The redevelopment is expected to be completed in early 2012.