by some buildings and noticed that there were wall openings allowing
trees to grow out from. Trees have been there long before the
buildings. The owners did not want to destroy the tree and
willingly cut a hole on the wall. The breadth of mind to put aside
differences so as to seek common ground can be easily seen by all.
Times have changed. It is hard to be tolerant
extendedly to accommodate an outsider. In the last few years, there
have been complaints from the public in various districts that trees
have reached out to public space and fixing up of tree canopy was to
be coerced. The Flame of the Forest (Delonix regia) in
Kowloon Tong cannot escape from this fate.
The crown of Flame of the Forest is broad with
many branches. To prune it will require chopping off a lot of
branches which is very difficult and laborious. As shown in the
picture, more than half of its body has jutted out of the wall. In
order to meet the government standard, the whole tree must be
removed which is all the more difficult.
At present, there are no clear guidelines on how
to prune trees. When the owners are in dread of the difficult
authority, they will do a one-off large-scale pruning to end all the
troubles. It is neither the concern of owners nor the authority as
to public safety or if the tree will die.
*translated by Mary Chung