“Ghost Pine” Incident in Maryknoll Convent School
“Ghost Pine” in Maryknoll
On 21st July 2009, Development Bureau (DEVB) announced the conservation arrangement on “Ghost Pine”, a Norfolk Island Pine in Maryknoll Convent School, Kowloon Tong and promised to hire consultants to prepare the conservation proposal. After seven months, the final consultancy report was still unavailable. However, under close supervision of DEVB and the school, the “Ghost Pine” was still severely damaged. The roots were cluelessly carved in a drainage replacement work, creating immediate danger to the tree.
The “Ghost Pine” was finally removed on 6th February 2010. CA felt regret over the decision of DEVB and the school, despite that the two tree assessment reports on DEVB website did not mention the need of immediate removal of the “Ghost Pine”.
The tree was finally cut down under lots of objections and questions, the incident reflected the lack of tree protectionmechanism in Hong Kong. Trees provide benefits to people and the environment, but cannot flee threats fromdevelopment or being claimed as dangerous. The “Ghost Pine”, though was protected by the Antiquities and MonumentsOrdinance, was still cut down. Obviously, trees on private lands do not get legal protections. Doesthe Government really care about the trees at all, or does it believe the existing laws are sufficient in spite of the fact that more and moretrees are being cut down?