IT takes 15 years for them to grow to a height of 14 storeys but only a day for them to disappear.


04 March 2008


IT takes 15 years for them to grow to a height of 14 storeys but only a day for them to disappear.


That is the lament of some residents of the Elias Road estate after seven of the 27 casuarina trees there were removed from around three blocks in the estate.


When Ms Law Kah Yen, a 32-year-old PR consultant, woke up on 23 Feb, she found seven of these ‘gentle giants’ being chopped down and uprooted.


The Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council had decided to have the trees removed because of safety concerns.


Ms Law said: ‘We were really upset when we saw what was being done.


‘The trees had added a lot of character and comfort to the neighbourhood.




‘Visiting family members as well as overseas friends admire the trees.’


Another resident, Madam Chang Kim Yin, a 40-year-old housewife, said in Mandarin: ‘I feel the trees made the HDB estate classier.’


A 52-year-old building consultant, who gave his name only as Mr Teo, said the trees provided shade, especially for the houses on the lower levels, from the afternoon sun.


But it was a job that had to be done, said the town council.


In an official response, the Pasir Ris- Punggol Town Council said it sympathised with the residents.


However, ‘it is essential for us to proceed with the removal (of the trees) in view of public safety’.


During routine horticultural maintenance, hairline cracks had been found on the trunks of the trees.


These cracks indicate the possibility of the trees developing internal decay, which cannot be easily detected.


The trees were located close to pedestrian crossings and footpaths.


The town council said: ‘We have previously received calls from concerned residents who have witnessed snapping branches and requested a complete removal of such trees.’




Yet another worry of the town council is the ability of the trees to grow to 40m in height, making maintenance and inspection difficult.


Mr Lim Choon Hoe, who is in his 40s and has been living in the area for eight years, recalled: ‘A few years back, one of the trees near the covered linkway collapsed.


‘I am quite worried as they may cause danger to the residents, especially to young children who often play around the area.’


He added: ‘I support the town council as they are experts and are taking preventive measures.’


But Ms Law is still unhappy.


She said: ‘I am hoping that they’ll be able to work around it and not just take the easy way out.


‘I have grown emotionally attached to these trees, having seen them grow from five-storey young trees to their current 14-storey height.


‘They are a big part of our home.’


The town council said the removed casuarina trees will be replaced with 3-to 4m-tall trees ‘so as to provide an instant visual impact to complement the current landscaping’.


The remaining casuarina trees do not have to be removed immediately, though they will continue to be checked.


Source: The New Paper


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s