With the approach of warmer weather recently, myriad flowers are blossoming quietly. People are drawn to take and tag their photos at various locations. As the saying goes, “One generation plants the tree in whose shade another generation rests.” All along, the Government has spared no efforts in promoting district greening. Many years ago, it has started developing the Greening Master Plans (GMPs) for implementing greening works in urban districts, so as to improve and enhance people’s living environment and help reduce carbon emissions. This time, I have invited a Landscape Architect of the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) to introduce our work on urban greening and take you to see the Tabebuia chrysantha (Yellow Pui), which only blossoms in spring.
Development of greening plans for various districts
As early as 2004, CEDD started formulating and implementing the GMPs for urban districts. Taking into account the characteristics and needs of a district, the GMP seeks to define an overall greening framework for a district, which includes establishing the greening theme of a district, proposing suitable planting locations and species, and providing guidelines for personnel in planning, designing and carrying out the associated works. Greening works under the GMPs were first implemented in two of the busiest districts in Hong Kong, Tsim Sha Tsui and Central, and were completed in early 2007. In view of the smooth implementation of the works with satisfactory results, CEDD has been extending the GMP initiative to other districts in a progressive manner.
Trees with floral interest enriching the city’s colour
A Landscape Architect of the CEDD, Mr TANG Lap-ming, said that apart from Tsim Sha Tsui and Central, the greening works in other urban districts including Sheung Wan, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, Mong Kok, Yau Ma Tei, Western District, Southern District, Eastern District, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon City, Wong Tai Sin and Kwun Tong were completed in mid-2011. A total of about 25 000 trees and approximately 5 million shrubs have been planted. Today, trees in these districts are generally thriving in healthy condition, quietly dressing this bustling city and its busy roads in green clothes. Among the trees is a dazzling array of flowering trees, adding a splash of colour to the city.
Tabebuia chrysantha (Yellow Pui) in full bloom
When you are out on a city walk, looking up, you will find many familiar flowering trees all around you and along the roads. Mr TANG earlier took us to the U Lam Terrace in Sheung Wan, where six Tabebuia chrysantha trees, commonly known as Yellow Pui trees, had been planted in the vicinity by CEDD. Recently, the trees have been in full bloom with bright yellow petals, presenting a magnificent view to us.
According to Mr TANG, the Tabebuia chrysantha, also known as the Golden Trumpet Tree, belongs to Bignoniaceae, a family of deciduous trees. There are different kinds of Tabebuia in Hong Kong. Aside from the more common Tabebuia chrysantha, there are also Tabebuia argentea, Tabebuia impetiginosa, Tabebuia rosea, etc. The tree bark of Tabebuia chrysantha has deep fissures and its flowers are funnel- or trumpet-shaped and bright yellow in colour. Normally, it sheds almost all its leaves before blooming in spring, and therefore the whole tree turns bright yellow and is very eye-catching when it blooms. However, the flowering period for this tree species is very short, lasting just one or two weeks at most. If you miss it, you will have to wait for the next flowering season.
Extending greening work to the New Territories
After completing the works under the GMPs for urban districts, CEDD started developing the GMPs to cover the New Territories (NT) since mid-2011. Priority greening works commenced in Southeast NT (Sha Tin and Sai Kung Districts) and Northwest NT (Tuen Mun and Yuen Long Districts). In view of the broad expanse of the NT, CEDD focused greening works on town centres, tourist attractions and major transport routes to effectively enlarge and improve green spaces in these areas.
The greening works were completed in October 2017 and met the planting targets on schedule with a total of about 4 000 trees and 2.6 million shrubs planted in Southeast and Northwest NT. CEDD is now establishing the plants and collaborating closely with government departments which will take over the maintenance work, so as to arrange for the gradual handover of the plants.
Strengthening community participation in greening
Regarding the latest work, CEDD is now collecting views from all sectors on the GMPs for the Southwest NT (Tsuen Wan, Kwai Tsing and Islands Districts) and Northeast NT (Tai Po and Northern Districts). For example, district participation groups have been formed by District Councillors and Rural Committee members to review the greening proposals put forward by consultants; community forums will be jointly organised to collect public views; and members of local communities will be invited to participate in site visits and meetings. I believe that these initiatives greatly help CEDD to identify suitable planting locations and establish the greening theme of a district in the hope of achieving better greening results.
I know that CEDD, apart from designing and carrying out greening works, also attaches great importance to communication with local communities and education to promote the benefits of greening. I hope that, through the ongoing efforts of civil engineers, landscape architects and technicial staff of the CEDD in planting, maintaining and preserving the vegetation in various districts, we will contribute to improving our living quality and the environment.
1 April, 2018Back