Smart tech enhances tree care

The Leisure & Cultural Services Department manages around 550,000 trees across the city’s parks, playgrounds and roadsides.


They are maintained through watering, pruning and pest control to promote healthy growth.


Liveable city

Leisure & Cultural Services Department Leisure Manager (Arboriculture) Lam Chi-kin noted that many trees managed by the department are in urban areas or along roadsides, which are not the most ideal growing environment for trees.


“The department’s main goal is to promote the healthy development of the trees, enabling them to fully display their original characteristics such as flowering, diverse leaf colours and providing shade, so that the public can enjoy the benefits of urban green spaces.


“We regularly conduct risk assessments and timely implementation of risk mitigation measures with the aim of enhancing the quality of life for citizens and creating a more comfortable living environment.”


Smart tech

The application of technology to assist in tree management is one of the primary areas of focus. Staff visually inspect tree trunks then use a sonic tomograph to assess the internal condition of the trees when they discover or suspect decay or other structural issues.


Leisure & Cultural Services Department Senior Training Assistant (Horticultural) Liu Kwok-hing explained that when using the sonic tomograph, the operator places multiple sensors on the tree trunk and gently taps each sensor with a metal hammer connected to the tomograph computer.


The results are displayed in various colours, producing two or three-dimensional images. Through the images, staff can learn clearly the internal structural situation of the inspected trees.


“One of the benefits of using this method is that it causes minimal damage to the trees during inspection.”


Accurate data

In addition to the sonic tomograph, the department also utilises resistograph and drone technologies for tree management.


Mr Liu said by implementing smart technology, staff can enhance work efficiency and provide more objective data on the basis of their visual tree assessment.


“Through data analysis, the tree care unit can promptly develop appropriate risk mitigation measures, thereby achieving a balance between the risk management of trees and conservation.”

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