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Urban Tree Management -A Tree Survey Report

Module 1 Urban Tree Management -A Tree Survey Report (45%)

1. Background

The data shown in Appendix 1 below come from “The Roadside Tree Survey and Community Participation Project” co-organized by the Conservancy Association and the Working Group of Urban Greening and Tree Management of Sham Shui Po District Council. The project was funded by the District Council.

The project was conducted in early 2021 and the main purpose of this project was to establish a roadside tree inventory. By understanding the conditions of the trees, long-term management plans and strategies could be prepared for the trees in a more holistic way.

A sustainable urban forest could then be established in Sham Shui Po. The survey was conducted from January to February 2021 and covered 2,388 trees planted along the major roads and streets in the Sham Shui Po District (SSPD).

Trees inside parks, housing estates, private premises and trees on Stonecutters Island were not included in this survey.

  1. Assessment Objectives

Part of the survey data from the above project was extracted for this assessment. The objectives of this assessment are to: – Describe the situation of the roadside trees in SSPD; – Identify the problems of existing trees; – Suggest the potential causes for the above problems; and – Provide constructive and practical solutions for the trees’ long-termsustainability and associated benefits.

Urban Tree Management -A Tree Survey Report Task

Write a fully referenced tree survey report of between 1,200 and 1,500 words (excluding the references). The report should include: • Introduction – a brief literature review on urban tree management in Hong Kong. The

objectives of the study should be put at the end of the introduction. • Method – a simple description of the survey method by looking at the data and work back

on what information were collected during the survey. • Results – you may organize and present the data in your own way. You may include

quantitative or qualitative analysis of the data as you see fit. • Discussion – discuss the results obtained and support your arguments with the literature. • Recommendations – make practical recommendations from the study to the Sham Shui

Po District Council.

3.1 Format and Editing As a professional report, simple English is preferred. Writing in simple sentences could also avoid making mistakes. Here are a few notes: • All scientific names must be in italic fonts with the first letter of the genus name in

capital letter e.g., Bombax ceiba. Cross check all species name andinformation using the Hong Kong Plant Database of the Hong Kong Herbarium.

  • For in text citation, put the authors’ surnames followed by the year of the publication.For references with more than three authors, use the first author’s surname followed by “et al.” and then year.


For urban biodiversity, plants, birds and butterflies are often the dominant taxa (Hau, 2020). Roadside trees are often found planted in compacted soil with poor soil nutrients (So et al., 2015). • In Hong Kong Government’s reports, numbered section headings and sub-headings are

always preferred. Sometimes, each paragraph is numbered e.g., in EIA reports (see the EIA Register).

  • Tables and figures are used to help illustrating the points you are making in the text. They should all be numbered in a sequence with independent titles. They should be referred to in the text.


Thirty-two tree species were recorded on Cheung Sha Wan Road (Table 1). Table 1. The tree species recorded on Cheung Sha Wan Road in this study.

  • For the references cited, avoid citing web-based materials of obscure sources. Official websites of government, well-known organisations or NGOs are fine. For media materials, citing facts such as the date of an accident are ok but avoid citing interpretation by the reporter. Peer-reviewed scientific papers, conference proceedings, and books or book chapters published by well-known publishers are high quality reference materials.
  • For the reference list at the end of the report, you may follow any style and format of a scientific paper. Consistency is formatting is the key.


Pang C.C., Lo W.F., Yan R.W.M. and Hau B.C.H. 2019. Plant community composition on

landfill sites after multiple years of ecological restoration. Landscape Research

Jim C.Y. 1990. Trees in Hong Kong: Species for landscape planning. Hong Kong University Press, Hong Kong.

Hau B.C.H. 2019. Biodiversity conservation planning and case studies in Hong Kong. In Ren, C. (Editor). Exploring the Sustainable Development of HighDensity Cities: The Planning and Design of Contemporary Hong Kong. China Architecture & Building Press, Beijing. ISBN: 978-7-112- 22923-9

  • Conduct a “spell and grammar” check of the essay as the last step before submission.

Species Height (m) Number Origin Acacia confusa 15-20 10 Exotic

Bombax ceiba 20-30 20 Exotic


ENVM 8014 Special Topics in Environmental Management

Module 1 Urban Tree Management -A Tree Survey Report (45%)

Appendix 1. Data extracted from “The Roadside Tree Survey and Community Participation Project” co-organized by the Conservancy Association and the Working Group of Urban Greening and Tree Management of Sham Shui Po District Council.

Table 1.

Number of roadside trees recorded in Sham Shui Po District.

StreetNo. of TreesStreetNo. of trees
Yau Yat Chuen (area)209Ying Wa Street62
Tat Chee Avenue174Cornwall Street60
Hing Wah Street149Tai Hang Sai Street – Shek Kip Mei Estate55
Sham Mong Road – Hoi Lai Estate150Tung Chau Street47
Sham Mong Road – Fu Cheong to Hoi Lai Estate120Tai Hang Sai Street – Nam Shan Estate42
Sham Mong Road – Fu Cheong Estate118Lai Hong Street41
Cheung Sha Wan Road88Yen Chau Street/ West26
Lai Wan Road88Mei Lai Road24
Boundary Street84Tai Po Road24
Tonkin Street82Po On Road – So Uk22
Tonkin Street West79Yee Kuk Street16
Sham Mong Road – Nam Cheong Park77Fat Tseung Street West11
Nam Cheong Street76Cheung Fat Street7
Sham Shing Road71Tai Hang Tung Street5
Lai Chi Kok Road66Nam Cheong District Community Centre4
Hoi Lai Street62Others249

Table 2.

The quantity and percentage of the eight most abundant tree species (out of a total of 2388 trees) in the study.

Melaleuca cajuputi subsp. cumingiana27511.52%
Roystonea regia2018.42%
Aleurites moluccana1586.62%
Tabebuia chrysantha1456.07%
Xanthostemon chrysanthus1425.9%
Bombax ceiba1305.44%
Lagerstroemia speciosa1225.11%
Archontophoenix alexandrae1074.48%

Table 3.

Trees in different size classes (DBH) and growing stages.

DBHQuantity (%)Tree species

(Young Tree)

463 (19.44%)Xanthostemon chrysanthus, Tabebuia chrysantha, Terminalia mantaly


881 (36.99%)Xanthostemon chrysanthus, Tabebuia chrysantha, Lagerstroemia speciosa, Melaleuca cajuputi subsp. cumingiana, Aleurites moluccana, Archontophoenix alexandrae, Roystonea regia, Bombax ceiba


881 (36.99%)Lagerstroemia speciosa, Melaleuca cajuputi subsp. cumingiana, Aleurites moluccana, Bischofia javanica, Chukrasia tabularis, Delonix regia, Archontophoenix alexandrae, Roystonea regia, Peltophorum tonkinense, Peltophorum pterocarpum, Ficus virens, Ficus microcarpa, Bombax cebia
501-1000mm (Mature)150 (6.30%)Melaleuca cajuputi subsp. cumingiana, Aleurites moluccana, Chukrasia tabularis, Delonix regia, Peltophorum tonkinense, Peltophorum pterocarpum, Ficus virens, Ficus microcarpa, Bombax cebi, Casuarina equisetifolia

(Mature, meet OVT requirement)

7 (0.29%)Ficus microcarpa

Table 4. 

Overall health and structural conditions of the surveyed roadside trees.

ConditionHeath problem (%)Structural problem (%)
Good316 (13.2%)250 (10.45%)
Fair1805 (75.6%)1917 (80.28%)
Fair to poor133 (5.6%)129 (5.4%)
Poor115 (4.8%)92 (3.85%)
Dying18 (0.75%)
Died1 (0.04%)

Table 5.

Types and quantity of structural problems recorded among the surveyed trees.

Structural problemsQuantityPercentage
Obvious wound (by pruning, vehicle damages, etc.)34114.28%
Codominant stems30212.65%
Multiple stems1466.11%
Poor crown form with abrupt branches652.7%
Girdling root301.26%
Crossing branches200.84%
Severely topped40.17%

Table 6.

Sizes of tree pits and planters recorded in the survey.

Width of tree pit/ planter (mm)QuantityPercentage
400 – 60028011.73%
601 – 100038616.16%
Large planter1194.98%

Table 7.

Records of poor pruning in this survey.

Excessive crown raising115448.32%
Pruned to abrupt bending40416.92%
Stub pruning1054.40%


Figure 1.

Distribution of the surveyed roadside trees in Sham Shui Po District.


Fair: Sterculia lanceolataFair to poor: Bombax cebiaPoor: Delonix regia


Dying: Roystonea regiaDead: Elaeocarpa apiculatus
Figure 2.

Trees in different health conditions.


Figure 3. Examples of trees damaged by vehicles (pointed by red arrows).


Figure 4. Examples of mature trees growing in limited spaces.


Larger tree pit with young tree (replanting after typhoon damage)Small tree pit with mature trees
Figure 5. Examples of pit planted trees.


Figure 6. 342 trees (14.32%) were found planted too deep (Invisible root flare pointed by red arrow)


Figure 7. Excessive crown raising (Red arrows indicating the pruning wounds)


Figure 8. Recurrent pruning caused abrupt bending branches and poor crown form.


Figure 9. Examples of stub pruning with bark tearing (red arrows).


Figure 10. Large pruning wound (Left) and topping wound (Right).


Figure 11. In the study, 198 tree tags out of a total of 286 tags were constricting the tree trunk (Left). Some trees have 3 to 4 tree tags (Right).


Embedded collar into tree trunkDamaged supporting systemSupporting pole not removedSupporting system left on the tree
Figure 12. In the study, supporting systems were seen on 323 trees and the supporting system of 264 out of 323 trees (81.73%) were outdated and should be removed.


Figure 13. One hazardous tree with poor rooting space and severe leaning was found at Nam Cheong District Community Centre.


Last Updated on April 26, 2022

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