Gems of HK

THE HMS Tamar site in Central harbours a rich variety of fine mature trees. It is a pleasant enclave of greenery among the bleak concrete jungle of our densely-packed city environment. Proposed development in or next to the site will injure or destroy this lovely sylvan population.

Most importantly, road and building work, and excavation in general, should be kept well away to avoid the sadly too-often-witnessed destruction associated with construction activities, such as crown and root severance, contamination, etc.

Of particular concern are two Chinese Banyans and a Coconut Palm which are exceptionally large, robust and beautiful.

They have been around for decades and the only way they can continue to enhance the environment is if they are spared the damage which so many trees sustain elsewhere in Hong Kong.

Therefore, any development should take into account their existence and significance, and sympathetically accommodate them in a way to ascertain their long-term welfare.

Any attempt to transplant a well-established mature tree could only result in massive branch and root amputation and unsightly disfigurement. The resultant loss of vigour may lead to disease and pest infestation, eventually leading to a decline toward premature death. Also, a transplanted large tree will never be able to recover and regain its former glory.

Our community is mature and enlightened enough to recognise that, after all, we live not merely to satisfy our basic wants, but also to fulfil our higher-order needs. Let us work towards enhancing our tenuous link with nature.

Dr. C. Y. JIM Senior Lecturer Department of Geography and Geology University of Hong Kong