Conservation of trees to avoid undue tree cutting
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It has been with increasing concern and alarm that we have observed many lovely old trees all over the island being cut down one by one. Whole stretches of road that were once green due to the beautiful trees are getting bare and extremely sunny. It appears that more trees will be felled, all over the island due to tunneling or road realignment works. Granted, some tree branches have fallen in certain parts of Singapore in recent thunderstorms, but this should not be the reason to chop off ALL the trees along most of the stretches of roads. Besides, the one of the possible causes of the trees falling more easily is due to the construction works underground damaging their roots in the first place.
Due to climate change and global warming, the temperature of the island is bound to increase. Sea waters will rise. Compounded by the felling of trees, which serve as a green lung and an eco-system which has existed for hundreds of years. Should there not be some effort to preserve some of these old trees, and possibly conduct more environmental studies before losing all these heritage trees? Surely, with new technology and AI , more trees can be preserved ( possibly certain trees whose roots are not affecting the tunneling or road works areas) , and not cut all of them down?
Besides the barometer rising, there is a risk of 'ponding' or flash flooding due to cutting down the trees. The ground underneath may lose stability with some possibility of erosion, 'cave-in's or ground shifting. Entire ecosystems, the fauna residing in the trees would be decimated. Recently, midges at Pandan Reservoir have increased in number posing a disturbance to residents. Could this phenomenon be related to their habitat being disturbed by excessive tree felling somewhere else?
Large old trees give us welcome cool shade and help filter the Garden City air from smoke, pollution and the haze. They help clean the air and provide oxygen for us, much better than any air-conditioner or air filter. After years or decades of serving us loyally and helping clean our air , it is indeed sad to see them being killed to make way for some road works or road widening projects.
Singapore is a young nation. What heritage is present should be treasured and preserved. What if the oldest standing trees there are no longer? How can we call it a Garden City when there IS no garden?
We would like to appeal to NEA/ NParks or any other government agency involved to conduct more detailed analysis on how we can preserve more old trees. Do spare a thought for the old trees before they are all gone.
Our late Mr Lee Kuan Yew was the architect of our Garden City. Please do let his legacy live on. 'He wanted trees to line the island’s streets and roads, and instructed the relevant agencies to plant them wherever possible — not just any trees but Angsana and rain trees.'
‘When the first plane lands, I want people to look at planted vegetation, not rank vegetation’,” he said. (Rank vegetation are plants and shrubs that have grown irregularly.)
1) Before any old tree (above 10 years) is cut down, good reasons are provided and prior notice is given ( posted on the tree trunk) to the residents as to why. Residents should be given the chance to give suggestions and feedback within a reasonable timeframe.
2) For any road works, to preserve at least 1 old tree every 5-10m along a stretch of road needing redevelopment / realignment.
3) To re-think road widening projects or tunnelling which involve removing large amounts of old trees on road dividers and on grass along roadsides.
4) To conduct nature studies / planning to minimize disturbance to existing green canopy and birds/fauna along trunk roads.
5) To check if contractors engaged to prune trees or check the health of the tree are separate from the arborist ( i.e. should be an independent arborist group to confirm findings )
We do not want a repeat of past incidents where the last specimen of a tree species is destroyed needlessly.
"UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."
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