(Shigo, 2003). If a wrong tree is planted in a wrong place, no matter what kind of methodsand how many resources are being devoted to conserving such trees, the results of greening would still be poor. A well thought through decision in planting is the first step toachieving long-term satisfactory greening effect in Hong Kong. A recent example canhighlight this point. Hong Kong Orchid Trees, (
) are planted extensivelyfrom 1999 to 2003. Over 70,000 individuals were planted in different locations in HongKong. However, the wood strength of Hong Kong Orchid Tree is weak, many of the plantedindividuals were damaged after several typhoon seasons and many of them needed to beremoved or replaced. This is one of the examples that the selection of wrong species thatresulted in increasing maintenance cost and at the same time did not achieve theintended long-term and sustainable greening objectives (Figure 3).
Fig. 3 A Hong Kong Orchid Tree Garden was set up in Tung Chung in 2000. However, after 9 years, thegreening objective could not be achieved and the Government needs to keep on replacing the deadtrees.
Strategic planting can help maximize community benefits while minimize publicexpenditures. The intention of the Greening Master Plan (GMP) is a good initiative,.Unfortunately, the effort has mainly been put on planting more new trees. Werecommend that more effort (especially inter-departmental) should be allocated onimproving the conditions of existing trees.
Tree selection should only be carried out by professionals who clearly understandthe characteristics and growth requirements of different tree species
Tree selection should not only focus on aesthetic value, functional value andavailable stock in the market, but should also consider characteristics of treesincluding mature size, root growing pattern, wind resistance, etc