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  Straits Times 14 Jun 07
Moving out, temporarily

Straits Times 14 Jun 07
Sentosa IR conservation: 200 trees to be relocated, 700 protected
By Tan Hui Yee

Today Online 14 Jun 07
200 escape the chop Resorts World at Sentosa in massive greening exercise
Daphne Chuah

Channel NewsAsia 13 Jun 07
Resorts World at Sentosa launches tree conservation programme

SINGAPORE: When the S$5.2 billion (US$3.2b) integrated resort at Sentosa opens in three years' time, not everything will be brand new.

Its operator, Genting International, is launching a massive conservation exercise to protect hundreds of trees that are currently on its 49-hectare site.

Of the 3,000 trees on the site, one third are earmarked for conservation. The trees that make the cut will be pruned and packed off to a temporary nursery - about 1.5 times the size of a football field located nearby. So far one hundred trees have been transplanted and over the next few weeks Resorts World at Sentosa will transplant 200 more.

The trees will be replanted at the resort when construction is complete. It will cost about S$400,000 (US$259,000) to maintain the trees over three years. This is three times the price of buying new nursery stock.

But the operator says the mature trees will add to the tropical ambience of the attraction, and provide "instant" shade, lowering the temperature by up to 8 degrees Celsius.

Henry Steed, Landscape Architect, said: "Not only does the shade cool the air, it cools the ground so you don't have the heat coming off the ground. "... the other thing about trees is that they suck up moisture and pump that moisture out at the top, which means there's an air current flowing up the top of the tree. "... that means air will be drawn in underneath the tree and pass [upwards], which is why when you sit under a tree you'll find there's a slight breeze."

Most of the protected trees are about three to five metres high and between 20 and 25 years old. They comprise 15 species, including Banyan trees, Rain trees, Palms and Khaya trees. It takes two days to transplant a large Banyan tree, while smaller ones can be processed in half a day. Experts say only mid-sized trees are transplanted. Those that are too big are unsafe to be moved and have a low survival rate.

Some trees that cannot be transplanted will be re-used. The timber from some 300 trees of 10 different species will get a new lease of life as furniture, souvenirs, and even sign posts at the new resort. This recycling project is expected to cost about S$300,000.

Said Patrick Too, Deputy Director of Projects, Resorts World at Sentosa, "Doing the souvenirs, this is another cost for us. We've not cost it [yet], but it's probably another chunk of money.

"It actually involves a lot of cost for Resorts World, not only just to put them in the mills or in the nursery... [but also] the cost of putting them back. Each of these trees... involves a few tonnes, so the machinery to bring them around... is a big task."

Separately, a 2.9 hectare forested area will also be conserved and protected from heavy engineering works. The operator is currently studying various minimal-impact construction measures such as light-weight structures and suspension systems. The woodland will also be incorporated into its building plan.

Genting will have another nursery, likely to be in Johor, where it will cultivate some 1,500 trees for its Sentosa resort. The contract for the project will be up for tender in about a month.

The conservation plan is one of the largest tree transplanting exercises carried out for a commercial development in Singapore. - CNA/yy

Today Online 14 Jun 07
200 escape the chop Resorts World at Sentosa in massive greening exercise
Daphne Chuah daphne@mediacorp.com.sg

IF you visit Genting International's Resorts World at Sentosa (RWS) when it opens in 2010, you may be told the chair you are sitting on was once a preserved "property" of the island.

Trees that are too huge and cannot be saved through transplantation will re-emerge as items ranging from benches and trellises, to wooden carvings and souvenirs. The move is part of the integrated resort's preservation plans to reuse the timber from 300 trees of 10 different species. It is believed that they are the first local developer to reuse timber in such a way.

RWS also announced a massive conservation exercise to save some 200 trees a 15-specie collection including banyan, palm and rain trees located within its 49-hectare site.

"We aim to make our resort an outstanding tropical family resort, and so it makes sense that we keep it as green as possible. Rather than cut down all the trees that have taken decades to mature, we would rather move some of them during the construction, then bring them back on-site later," said Mr Patrick Too, RWS' deputy of projects, at a site briefing yesterday. "In this way, we won't have to start from saplings all over again when we open."

The trees are pruned so as to prevent dehydration before they are lifted and relocated to their temporary home. Over the past two weeks, excavators, lorry-cranes and trucks have been used to move them to a nursery near the $5.2-billion resort's worksite. The relocation is slated for completion in about two weeks.

Said Mr Henry Steed, RWS' landscape consultant and director of ICN Design International: "We hate to lose usable and valuable natural resources, and while we do need to clear the site because there's going to be a huge development, we've identified that these particular trees can be transplanted."

In three years, the trees will be replanted in various parts of the development, providing visitors with much-needed respite from the weather, and adding to the tropical ambience.

One of the proposals that led to Genting's winning bid was its commitment to keeping 70 per cent of the resort green, a tacit standard applied throughout Sentosa.

RWS is expected to attract some 10 million visitors and generate $15 billion in tourism receipts by 2015.

Straits Times 14 Jun 07
Sentosa IR conservation: 200 trees to be relocated, 700 protected
By Tan Hui Yee

THE bulldozers may have moved in to start work on Sentosa's integrated resort, but about 200 of the compound's 3,000 trees will be safe from destruction - they will be relocated during the construction phase, and replanted in about three years.

Another 700 trees, including those in a 2.9ha forest on the western edge of the construction site, will stay untouched. The work to be done around these trees in the coming years will be tailored to reduce the impact on them.

A third lot of 300 trees will find their way back to the site when Resorts World at Sentosa is up - in the form of benches, trellises, walkways, carvings and maybe even chief executive Tan Hee Teck's table.

Resorts World unveiled these conservation efforts yesterday, six months after the Malaysian consortium comprising Genting International and Star Cruises won the rights to build the $5.2 billion resort on Sentosa's north shore. Genting is now the sole owner of the 49ha project, following a recent restructuring exercise.

Resorts World, when completed by 2010, will house a Universal Studios theme park, an oceanarium, six hotels and a casino, among other things. It will be the first of two integrated resorts in Singapore, with the other located in Marina Bay.

The tree transplantation exercise is believed to be one of the biggest by a developer. Involving 15 species - including the ficus, rain and khaya tree - the effort dwarfs that by the Singapore Management University to preserve 16 mature trees on its campus using the same method.

Each tree will cost about $2,000 to keep in a temporary nursery on Sentosa island. A new tree would cost a third of that. But the flip side of the extra cost is that fully grown trees will provide instant shade for theme-park goers from Day One.

Resorts World's deputy director of projects, Mr Patrick Too, said: 'We won't have to start from saplings all over again when we are open.'

Each tree marked for transplantation is between 20 and 25 years old, and about 3m to 4m tall.

Resorts World's landscape consultant, Mr Henry Steed of ICN Design International, explained that not every tree can be saved. Some are too big, others too small or termite-infested.

Resorts World will buy another 1,500 trees soon, to give them time to grow big enough for transplanting to the resort's grounds after the building work is done.

Resorts World's conservation effort will not stop at trees. Its decision to keep intact the 2.9ha of coastal forest on its site follows appeals by groups of nature lovers earlier this year.

The tract is home to a large number of rare Dragon Blood trees; it is also a roosting site for the Buffy Fish Owl.

The resort developer has put the forest 'under protection' from heavy engineering works and buildings; various minimal-impact construction measures such as the use of lightweight structures or suspension systems are now under study, it said.

The Nature Society, one of the groups which Resorts World engaged in a dialogue in March, said the move to keep the forest intact was 'fabulous'. The society's vice-president, Mr Shawn Lum, describing the forest yesterday as 'the nicest patch of coastal forest anywhere in Singapore', said that leaving it intact instead of retaining only selected trees would preserve its eco-system and protect the habitat of animals there.

Straits Times 14 Jun 07
Moving out, temporarily

Twenty years ago, landscape architect Henry Steed planted saplings to create a garden around Sentosa's musical fountain. Yesterday, he watched as the now fully grown trees were pruned and uprooted to make way for the the new integrated resort.

'It's very sad,' said Mr Steed, director of ICN Design International. 'But you know Singapore is constantly changing.'

The trees the British national planted will not be completely lost. They are among 200 out of the 3,000 trees on the resort's 49ha site which will be kept at a temporary nursery on Sentosa and then replanted when work is completed in about three years.

Mr Steed, who has been based in Singapore for 25 years now, worked on the fountain garden project in the late 1980s and is now the landscape consultant for the Resorts World at Sentosa. He is overseeing the transplantation of the trees.

links Related articles on Southern Islands development plans and Heritage Trees
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