Friday, August 18, 2006

Tree Down!

Photo by November

2 weeks ago, I posted a letter to the forum written by an islander's daughter, complaining about a dead branch hanging over the roof of her father's house, causing much fear and worry.

At that time, my mom wondered if the children can just trim it for the father but then I managed to verify that the tree is truly very big, up to about 20m tall and definitely requires a crane to do the deed.

1 week ago, I updated on the sighting of SLA trimming branches of a grand old Angsana Tree behind the row of shops in Ubin Town, where the old Bin Kiang school is. This was observed during the Hungry Ghost Festival Wayang celebrations. Then, there was a crane observed trimming some branches.

Of course, immediate thoughts was that SLA seems rather responsive to the letter to the newspaper forum page. Either way, the villager can now sleep well at night.

SLA trimming
Trimming in process. Photo by November

Still, SLA must have been alerted a while back about this since it takes a substantial amount of time to arrange for a crane and then a barge to send the crane over. It would have taken more than a few days and is probably planned for prior to the release of the newspaper article.

What's missing? Photo by November

However, on Friday, 11 August 2006, when I revisited the island for a plant survey, I found something terribly missing as I stand in the town center, in front of the wayang stage. The place looked very bright and very empty.

It was then I realized that something was missing.

The whole Angsana tree has been cut down. Not just one, but 4 of them.

For scale
How big the girth of the tree was! The worker at the side for scale. Picture by November.

According to NParks, it turned out that one of the Angsana tree got a disease called Angsana Wilt where ambrosia beetles colonises the tree, causing it to wilt and eventually collapse. It also spreads very quickly to other trees and thus explaining why the other trees around it had to be cut down as well. This is a problem that is quite widespread in Singapore and Malaysia and the usual recommended way to control the disease is to remove the diseased trees. [Source: Botanic Garden Trust of Australia]

More than one
Photo by November

Although a terrible lost to the landscape of the island, it is rather dangerous to have a 15-20m tree crashing down on your house in the middle of the night, or even in the day. However, we all wonder if the villager will now have very hot days and warm nights to complain of from now on. I know we will.

Truck load
Took a few days to remove the trees - truck load of dismembered leaves and branches remains. Photo by November

Related Articles
  • Pulau Ubin Old Tree's Dead Branch, By Cai Li Zhu, Lianhe Zaobao Forum Page, 2 August 2006, Wednesday
  • Branch Trimming, Pulau Ubin Stories, 10 August 2006
  • Angsana Wilt Disease Complex
  • 1 comment:

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