24-hour Hotline 2926 4111

Emergency removal of Old and Valuable Tree infected with brown root rot disease on Queen's Road East, Wan Chai

       The Highways Department (HyD) has commenced urgent removal works for one Old and Valuable Tree (OVT) on Queen's Road East in Wan Chai infected with brown root rot disease (BRRD) today (March 27) in order to ensure public safety.
      The OVT concerned was a Ficus microcarpa with a height of 11 metres. It was listed on the Register of OVTs with registration number HYD WCH/1. The tree was confirmed with BRRD infection in late 2020. Since then, the HyD had been strengthening maintenance works and regular inspections for the tree in accordance with the Greening, Landscape and Tree Management Section (GLTMS) of the Development Bureau's guidelines, and implementing a series of corresponding measures such as regular surveying of the displacement of the tree, resistograph testing, pruning of wilted branches and improving soil quality.
      However, when conducting another tree risk assessment early this year, the HyD found that the tree foliage was still sparse with further wilting. In addition, mycelial crust was also found on more areas of the tree base, indicating that BRRD had further spread and caused irreversible health and structural damage to the tree, posing a risk of tree failure. Upon consultation with the GLTMS and the Urban Forestry Advisory Panel, and notifying the Wan Chai District Council of the proposed tree removal, the HyD commenced the tree removal works today and will replant an ornamental plant at a nearby location after the tree removal.
      A spokesman for the HyD emphasised that the department would continue to adopt a prudent approach in inspecting and maintaining trees under its care, and would only consider removing problematic trees in the absence of other viable risk mitigation measures.
Ends/Monday, March 27, 2023