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EiGhT 5 & tWo
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Removal of saplings means much-loved feature of the city's streetscape could disappear

(SCMP) 06月 04日 星期三 00:03AM

Most saplings growing on stone walls in the city have been removed, a survey has found, raising concerns that the distinctive streetscape will gradually disappear. The study,

by University of Hong Kong geography professor Jim Chi-yung, found that saplings growing atop 288 stone walls in Hong Kong had been cleared and only 159 saplings were left.

"It means that less than one sapling is left for each wall," Professor Jim said. "It is worrying because the next generation of wall trees has been removed."

He said the chance of trees, banyans in particular, sprouting and growing on walls was slim. "Seeds are deposited on the walls through bird droppings. But the seeds must find water and nutrients from the soil in the wall in order to grow.

"It is a difficult process and only one out of 1,000 seeds can sprout under such extreme conditions."

He said international tree experts were amazed by Hong Kong's unique streetscape of tree-covered walls. But the government did not seem to appreciate their cultural value. "I have been rallying to protect these walls and trees under the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance," he said. "But the government's response to me is that trees are living things and should not be classified as cultural heritage."

4,498 Posts
I would love to see the saplings are being maintained.

But the problem is as always with trees... politic...
Even the sapling should be safe to grow on the wall, but in case the tree is dying, it would suddenly fall without notice. From the safety point of view, the government/district council always want to remove this "hazard" in advance, so the accident will never happen. If the tree remains and falls, the government/district council is afraid to be blamed. Sigh...
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