|A tree fell recently in HCM City’s Tân Bình District after a heavy rain. — VNA/VNS Photo Mạnh Linh|
HCM CITY — HCM City plans to conduct research and identify trees resilient to natural disasters and suited to the local soil.
The city will then compile a list of various kinds of trees to be planted across the city in the near future.
The process of selecting trees requires extensive research and a pilot scheme, according to the city government.
In recent years, the city has piloted planting many species of trees, but some species have not been strong enough to withstand heavy rains or strong winds, and have been hit by disease.
The city has also asked the Ministry of Construction to identify the most suitable trees for the city.
The selected trees must also conform to urban planning standards and regulations.
HCM City has thousands of century-old trees that pose management as well as safety challenges, according to experts.
More than 158,200 trees belong to 180 species, including more than 6,760 trees that are 150 years old, according to the city authorities.
However, infrastructure development and construction of high-rise buildings have affected the the growth of tree roots.
Groundwater depletion and pollution are also major factors affecting tree roots and branches.
Many of the city’s trees are unsuited for urban areas and have fallen over during bad weather.
The city’s sidewalks constantly need to be repaired in the city, especially because of motorbikes illegally travelling on them, and frequent underground work.
Sudden rainstorms, flooding, high tides and other effects of climate change have all causes damages to the trees.
Many trees in the city have also been torn down for infrastructure work and construction of new buildings and skyscrapers.
Besides their beauty, trees have important functions to absorb rainwater, prevent flooding, and conserve groundwater.
Tree canopies are becoming critical in the city as temperatures rise as a result of global warming, experts have said.
The Department of Transport has worked with the Department of Science and Technology for more than a decade to draft a master plan on creating a tree canopy in the city, but it has never been completed.
During the rainy season in HCM City, which usually starts in May and ends in November, many trees are affected.
The three main types of trees planted on city streets include phượng (flamboyant or royal poinciana), xà cừ (African mahogany) and me tây (Albizia saman).
Nguyễn Khắc Dũng, head of Green Tree and Park Company, said that many trees were infected with disease and their roots were not planted deep into the ground.
During the past two years, abnormal weather conditions and other adverse conditions have caused many trees to fall or be uprooted, particularly during heavy rains, causing damage to people and property.
According to the city People’s Committee, in 2017 and 2018 about 1,260 trees fell and nearly 2,000 trees had branches broken, killing one and injuring 17, as well as damaging dozens of cars, motorbikes and people’s houses. — VNS