Letters to the Editor, May 6, 2013

A tree thought to have brown root rot. Photo: Nora Tam

Your detailed coverage of the plight of Hong Kong's urban and rural trees highlights the need for urgent action if we are to save at least some of our natural heritage.

Monday, 6 May, 2013, 2:55am 5 comments

Getting to the root of Hong Kong's tree problem

Sick trees suspected to have been infected with brown root rot disease are seen at Kam Shan Country Park. Photo: Nora Tam

The well-being of trees, admittedly, does not stand out as a matter of priority in our society, and government is not at the forefront as far as tree management is concerned. Unfortunately, a series of fatal accidents involving falling trees has put the problem under the public spotlight.

27 Apr 2013 - 3:32am 1 comment

Deadly foe is hard to recognise and defeat

Jim Chi-yung. Photo: Dickson Lee

Brown root rot is caused by a fungus with strong virulence named Phellinus noxius, which prefers acidic, hot and humid conditions. The disease has been found in the United States and tropical and subtropical regions in Asia, including southern Japan, the mainland, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore.

26 Apr 2013 - 5:39am

Brown root rot threatens Hong Kong's forests

Trees in locations from Kam Shan Country Park (left) to Admiralty (right) have been infected. Photos: Nora Tam

Apart from killing 17 heritage trees in urban areas, the incurable fungal condition has infected at least seven trees in Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve, one in the Observatory grounds in Tsim Sha Tsui and probably some in Kam Shan Country Park.

26 Apr 2013 - 5:56am

Brown root rot disease could be spread by humans

Brown root rot disease could be spread by humans

The wide spread of the virulent brown root rot disease in Hong Kong's trees may have been caused by human mistakes made worse by monkeys. Tree specialists say contamination of hikers' boots, use of improperly quarantined ornamental plants and soil carried by monkeys could all be factors.

26 Apr 2013 - 6:02am

Meet the arborist who keeps Hong Kong's giants safe

Vick Cheng Kwok-keung measures a tree trunk in Kowloon Park, Tsim Sha Tsui. Old trees will be rare in Hong Kong, he says. Photo: Felix Wong

A tree knows when it has lost a limb. If it has been poorly pruned and the branches start sprouting green shoots, that's the tree's survival mechanism and it is crying out for help.

This lesson came from arborist Vick Cheng Kwok-keung on a walk around Kowloon Park in Tsim Sha Tsui to demonstrate how to spot a tree in distress.

2 Dec 2013 - 12:19pm 1 comment

Big trees may be root of problems at Hysan Place

The original trees outside Hysan Place. Behind them is the Apple store being built last year. Photo: SCMP

Tree specialists warned yesterday the seven chukrasia tabularis, or Burmese almond wood, earmarked for Kai Chiu Road may be too large and unsightly for the congested street, and might grow sprawling roots that could push up the pavement.

25 Feb 2013 - 10:16am

Palms are best but they are 'too dull'

Ken So Kwok-yin. Photo: Edmond So

There should be a balance between aesthetics and functionality when choosing trees for streets and roads in the city, tree specialists say.

25 Feb 2013 - 5:27am

China Digest, December 12, 2012

Municipal lawmakers are planning to pass emergency legislation that would allow drivers to be cited if they do not yield to ambulances during emergencies.

12 Dec 2012 - 4:00am

What the local media says, November 17, 2012

Sunday, Apple Daily

Society chiefs accused of abusing government subsidy

17 Nov 2012 - 4:45am

China Digest, November 14, 2012

A former director of farm-machinery management in Chongqing was sentenced on Monday to 15 years in jail for accepting 3 million yuan in bribes and for embezzling 500,000 yuan in public money to operate his own business, China News Service reports. 

14 Nov 2012 - 4:49am

More care needs to be taken to monitor old trees likely to fall

Workers remove the fallen banyan from Lam Kam Road at Tong Min Tsuen in Tai Po that killed a passenger in a truck. Photo: Edmond So

Conventional wisdom has it that nothing much can be done when misfortunes befall. But that does not mean there is no lesson to learn.

20 Oct 2012 - 1:29am

Penjing: The Chinese Art of Bonsai

Penjing: The Chinese Art of Bonsai by Chao Qingquan Better Link Press

This potted history of the ancient art of penjing (Chinese bonsai), by expert practitioner Chao Qingquan, is concise and descriptive, offering an easy introduction for those unfamiliar with the practice, and ample details to satisfy those who are more au fait.

1 Jul 2012 - 12:00am

Trees at racecourse decapitated despite ban

More than 100 trees in the public recreation ground at Happy Valley racecourse have been stripped of their crowns by government workers, despite a ban on such brutal pruning by the government's Tree Management Office.

The trees along the jogging path stand without a single leaf. About 60 of them were frangipani, chopped to less than two metres high.

10 Dec 2011 - 12:00am

Eco-furniture boutique sails into new waters

Eco-furniture boutique Tree has tapped into 'something old, something nostalgic' with its latest collection of furniture reclaimed from a traditional teak dragon boat.

The 30-year-old boat was languishing on a beach when the Lantau Boat Club alerted the store.

15 Jun 2011 - 12:00am