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NewsAsia 5 Feb 06
Angsana tree along Braddell Road centre of attention
By Ng Bao Ying, Channel NewsAsia
An angsana tree along Braddell Road is in a unique situation. Since December, the tree has been the centre of attraction for passing motorists and the public. Construction work along Braddell Road has led to most trees around the area to be cleared. But the 75-year-old angsana tree was spared due to its rarity. What would have been a normal 3-lane road now splits into two to accommodate the tree. The road then joins back several metres later.
The tree, which cost $200,000 to save, has the honour of being the first tree saved by the Land Transport Authority since it was set up 11 years ago.
Some years back, NParks spent $100,000 on road diversion and drainage system to preserve an angsana tree along Upper Serangoon Road. That tree was more than 80 years old. NParks said the tree was worth at least $80,000.
NParks has its own tree valuation system so that when a decision is made to fell trees, it will be an informed decision.
But for the saved angsana tree along Braddell Road, initial reactions ranged from those who felt it was dangerous to have a split road after a bend, to those who thought it plain awkward.
However, enough time has passed for people to adjust. "I didn't know about this on my first day, and got a shock that the road had suddenly changed," said senior bus captain Tan Chin Wah. "But now I'm used to this route already, so I will take care when passing by."
For those who earlier lauded the move as a sign that development need not clash with nature, they remain happy.
"People should learn how to save trees," said student Devi.
NParks says that while no compliments have been sent in, there have been no complaints either. It plans to continue protecting trees around the island, through its tree management programme. - CNA/ir
Discuss this issue on the nature-singapore discussion list.
Split a road, save a tree by Lee Sze Yong The Straits Times, 18 Dec 05
What is a Heritage Tree? What is the current list of Heritage Trees? How can I nominate a tree for the Heritage Tree scheme? Details on the NParks website with an online form to nominate a heritage tree.
More about the Hopea Sangal tree that got chopped down on Siva's habitatnews
Related articles on Heritage Trees of Singapore
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