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SUNDAY MORNING

Rant: The unkindest cut of all

Alex Wong

 

I am no tree-hugging greenie, but if I had arrived home a bit earlier the other day I might have turned into one. For when I did arrive home, the harvested foliage blocking my driveway was such that I couldn't get my car through. And it was the same story all around the neighbourhood - every tree in sight, all planted some 20 years ago, had been slashed back until each of them resembled a roast chicken carcass. The street was like an alien landscape from a Dr Seuss book.

There is a difference between a bit of a prune and wanton destruction. With haircuts, a week is usually sufficient to close the gap, but trees don't grow that fast. These ones had provided shade and privacy and kept our houses cooler, meaning less need for air-conditioning. They had also survived September's Typhoon Usagi and countless other storms, so it would be hard to conclude that they posed much of a danger.

Where I grew up, if you set about a tree without obtaining permission from both the neighbours and the local council, you'd be arrested. Here, the government's "Towards a Greener Hong Kong" campaign seems like something to which developers and their ilk pay lip service at most. Instead of building a greener city, we are killing trees and destroying much of the city's charm.

In some countries, they call this time of year "fall" - because that's what excessive foliage on trees does in the autumn. It falls off, of its own accord. How about that?

We might as well install neon trees and be done with it.

 

 

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Rant: The unkindest cut of all

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