LCQ14: Planting of trees

Following is a question by the Hon Albert Chan and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, in the Legislative Council today (July 13):


I have learnt that the Government has planted quite many trees of native species in the countryside in recent years, but a number of them died shortly after planting. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) of the total number of trees planted by the Government in each of the past three years and, among them, the respective numbers of trees belonging to exotic and native species;

(2) among the trees mentioned in (1), how many of them are already dead at present (and set out a breakdown by species and cause of death of trees); and

(3) whether it will consider changing the method of planting trees of native species, so as to enhance their survival rate; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?



(1) The total number of trees planted by the Government in 2013, 2014 and 2015 are about 800 000, 800 000 and 400 000 respectively. Native species accounted for about 80 per cent of these trees. Most of them were planted as seedlings by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) in country parks to enhance their ecological value and biodiversity.

(2) We do not keep statistics on the number of trees planted in the past three years that do not survive. Generally, the survival rate of newly planted trees is quite high. According to the AFCD, the overall survival rate of tree seedlings planted in the country parks across the territory over the past three years is about 80 per cent. The growth and survival of plants are subject to a host of environmental factors (including soil types, precipitation rates, humidity and temperature) and specific growth requirements of individual species. Adverse weather conditions, such as typhoons, will also cause severe and irreversible damage to trees.

(3) We have always advocated the basic planting design principles of "right species at the right place". In this connection, the Greening, Landscape and Tree Management Section (GLTMS) under the Development Bureau (DEVB) has compiled a series of guidelines on "proper planting practices", such as "Provide Adequate Growing Space For Future Growth Of Canopy", for reference of other departments. During construction works, the relevant departments will monitor the contractors to assure quality of planting works. Contractors are also required to provide maintenance services during the 12-month establishment period for newly planted trees to ensure that they receive proper care. Selection of suitable tree species that can adapt to the countryside and proper tree conservation work for raising tree (particularly at their early stage of growth) are also critical to the afforestation works in country parks. The AFCD will continue to endeavour to ensure that the tree seedlings planted in country parks will grow and thrive. 


Ends/Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Issued at HKT 14:30