The Leisure and Cultural Services Department has completed its inspection of almost 500 old trees and found about 50 are 'at risk', members of the department's expert group on registered trees disclosed yesterday. Members said at least two trees - one of them a registered heritage tree - were in such bad condition they would have to be removed. The trees were identified in checks launched after a teenager was crushed to death by a falling tree in Stanley last month. But tree expert Jim Chi-yung, a University of Hong Kong geography professor, urged the department to release the assessment report and said it must not rush into a decision on whether a tree should be felled. Group member Lawrence Chau Kam-chiu said the sick trees were categorised into high, medium and low risk and at least two were dying. Some needed bracing to prevent them from collapse, said Dr Chau, a senior manager of Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden's plant conservation department. He was speaking after a meeting of the group to discuss the fate of the trees yesterday. Another expert group member said at least one heritage tree and a fiddle-leaved fig in the Zoological and Botanical Gardens would need to be removed. 'The fiddle-leaved fig is actually dying. Most of its leaves have already fallen off,' he said. The department said earlier that it had invited an expert from the United States to strengthen and speed up the inspection works, but the expert was not at yesterday's meeting. A department spokeswoman confirmed yesterday that the expert was an arborist from Arbor Global, an arboriculture management consulting agency based in Hong Kong and Hawaii. A source close to the department said the same agency was commissioned to save the dying Chinese banyan, on the list of the old and valuable trees, in Kowloon Park, a few years ago. Whether the tree is recovering is still under debate. Professor Jim said the fiddle-leaved fig is a relative of banyan trees now normally planted in pots. It was shade-tolerant and survived in tough conditions. 'Before turning to the last resort, other ways to rescue trees should be considered, like using tree props and cables to support them. Otherwise it would be too drastic a move,' he said.