Many old trees are being destroyed by disease or
insects or lack space due to increasing urbanization.
Now a campaign is under way to find more old and rare
trees and protect them.
"Trees which are rarely seen and over 100 years old
with value in terms of scientific research, culture and history,
will all be under protection after their identification in the near
Money is spent on getting rid of insects and diseases
that damage the trees. New developers are not allowed to build too
many buildings near the old trees.
So said Lu Shaokun, an official with the Guangzhou
Municipal Utilities and Landscaping Bureau, last week.
Guangzhou, capital of south
China's Guangdong Province, currently has 842 old and
rarely-seen trees registered, which are currently having their
"This is to better recognize old trees with a more
uniform system," said Lu, adding that all current nameplates for
trees date back to the 1980s.
According to Lu, between 1985 and 2004 the city
conducted four campaigns to identify old trees. It recognized
"But only 842 have survived," Lu said.
According to Lu, around 200 more trees will be
protected under the new identification campaign by the end of the
It is estimated that Guangzhou has more than 10,000
old and rarely-seen trees which need to be further protected,
according to Lu.
The city's Liwan District is one of the most populated
areas for such trees. Around 266 of them have been identified in
the district, accounting for nearly one third of the city's
"The trees all have a history of more than 100 years,
with the oldest being 895 years old," Lu said.
But he said white ants are destroying about 18 percent
of the trees.
Besides the problems of insects and disease, the
expansion of urban buildings is also an issue.
Sources with Lu's bureau said that about 14 percent of
old trees in the city's downtown areas are being badly
"These trees will gradually die of little living space
if they are not immediately protected," Lu said.
Guangzhou will earmark more
than 1 million yuan (US$125,000) annually to protect old trees,
The city has established a digital network collecting
information on old trees.
(China Daily September 4,