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Falling street trees raise public fears

Update: August, 21/2012 - 10:19

HA NOI — The havoc created by large trees falling on Ha Noi streets and roads during tropical storm Kai Tak has concerned residents and experts.

Statistics provided by the Ha Noi Green Tree and Park Company showed that more than 200 of the city's 45,000 trees were uprooted during the storm.

Most were in Ly Thuong Kiet, Hai Ba Trung, Ba Trieu, Da Tuong, Lo Duc, Le Duan, Truong Dinh, Hue, Chua Boc and Thai Ha streets.

Ngo Chi The, a resident on Lo Duc Street, said 30 nacre or cassia trees had fallen over two days. He said he could never recall this happening before.

Nguyen Duc Manh, deputy head of the company's planning department, said continuous rains over the city during the last two weeks had softened the soil. Coupled with strong winds, trees easily became uprooted by strong winds.

He said many trees had lost stabilising roots during underground work.

However, according to many experts, the trees being uprooted were nacre trees, which were shallow rooted.

Dr Nguyen Lan Hung, secretary of the Union of Biology Associations told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that these trees grew easily and had large canopies. This is why so many had been planted in streets.

He said nacre trees over seven metres needed replacing to prevent them toppling, adding that authorities should choose trees with deep tap roots, such as dracontomelum because they were not so dangerous.

The wide thoroughfare of Tran Hung Dao Street is planted out with many dracontomelums that remained stable during the recent storms.

However, Le Phuong, an arborist, said types and criteria for trees in urban areas were set by the circular of Ministry of Construction, not the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

But he said that it was time for a change to be made to ensure suitable trees were planted throughout the city. — VNS

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