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  Straits Times Forum 26 Jul 07
NParks has regular tree-care programme
Reply from Simon Longman Director, Streetscape National Parks Board

Straits Times Forum 24 Jul 07
Check huge, tall trees growing near roads
Letter from Wong Yew Kwan

IN THE wake of problems caused by trees, I note with concern the case of a taxi hit by a falling branch in Tanglin Road last Tuesday.

I went to the site to see if I could find out what actually happened. The tree that shed its branch and damaged the passing taxi is a huge Eugenia grandis (sea apple tree) and the branch that came off was some 10m up the trunk. The tree appears to be growing within the compound of a private property, but very near to the edge of Tanglin Road.

This incident should serve as a warning to owners of properties with huge, tall trees growing near roads. They should subject such trees to drastic pruning or pollarding to reduce their heights and shorten their branches so as to ease the leverage on the joints, thus reducing the chances of their collapsing.

Periodic inspections must also be conducted to ensure the overall health of the trees. There should be no rotting at the base of a tree or in its trunk. The branches must also be free from any rotting.

Concerning the fallen branch in Tanglin Road, the short stub remaining on the tree appears to be rotting. Many big khaya trees planted along our roads and highways can also pose a danger, as they have grown very tall and with extremely big, long branches. However, some trunks look thin and weak. For safety the branches of such trees should be cut back by some 10m to reduce leverage on the joints.

Many big and tall wild albizia trees can be found along the expressways, some on top of high road cuttings (embankments on the side of the road, e.g., along the PIE). These are time bombs. If they are uprooted they could easily reach the driveways.

The authorities should chop down all those trees which could conceivably reach the driveways when they fall, so as to prevent accidents in future.

The huge tree that collapsed in Bukit Batok Park and killed a woman some weeks ago was of this species.

Straits Times 26 Jul 07
NParks has regular tree-care programme
Reply from Simon Longman Director, Streetscape National Parks Board

I THANK Mr Wong Yew Kwan for his feedback, 'Check huge, tall trees growing near roads' (ST, July 24).

As he has rightly pointed out, trees within private properties need to be inspected and pruned regularly for public safety.

Members of the public or organisations requiring tree-care services can obtain a list of certified arborists in Singapore from the International Society of Arboriculture website at http://www.isa-arbor.com/findArborist/verifyArbByLoc.aspx

For the Paraserianthes falcataria (Albizia) trees on vacant land along some of our expressways (e.g., PIE) referred to by Mr Wong, the National Parks Board (NParks) is working with the various agencies in charge of those areas to attend to the trees.

For the roadside Khaya spp. (African Mahogany) trees, NParks has regular tree inspection and pruning programmes to manage their health and stability.

Members of the public are welcome to contact us on 1800-4717300 or e-mail us at NParks_Public_Affairs@NParks.gov.sg if they have any feedback on trees.

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