Government Releases List of 558 Protected Ancient Trees

Several old and valuable trees are planted in Flora Garden

The Macao SAR Government announced a List of 'Old and Valuable Trees' last month, protecting 558 such trees in the territory. Some 555 trees are over 100 years old, while two valuable trees are a Prynne tree planted in Comendador Ho Yin Garden by former Chief Executive of Macao Ho Hau Wah on 1st January 2000 and a Machilus chinensis planted on Small Taipa Hill on the same day, commemorating Comendador Ho Yin and the new millennium. The last valuable tree was also a Machilus chinensis planted on Small Taipa Hill by Chief Executive of Macao Chui Sai On to celebrate 29th Macao Green Week.

The oldest tree registered locally is a Nanyang Syzygium (Java Apple tree) in Camoes Garden, which is 300 years old. Other old trees include a Longan tree, Mock Bodh tree, Ficus, Cinnamomum Camphora, Paramita, Bridelia Tomentosa, Machilus chinensis, raphiolepis indica and so forth. Coloane has the largest number of old trees, while old trees on Macao Peninsula are located on Guia Hill, in Camoes Garden, Flora Garden, Lou Lim Ioc Garden, Montanha Russa Park, Mount Fortress, S. Francisco Garden and Sai Van. Some are located on Avenida do Almirante Lacerda.

All the old trees that are registered are located in public areas, and do not include old trees in private areas, religious areas and suchlike. According to the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) the oldest tree in Macao is located in Kun Iam Temple, which is 500 years old and classified as a Class I valuable tree per national standards. IACM will co-operate with the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC) to collect and collate data of 170 old and valuable trees in private areas.

The establishment of the List of 'Old and Valuable Trees' is based on Cultural Heritage Protection Law, and is evaluated, drawn up and updated by the public sector with authority to protect trees in Macao. Owners, holders, possessors or others who own the property on which these trees stand have a legal obligation to protect trees registered on the List of 'Old and Valuable Trees'. Any activities which may damage, destroy or lose the trees should be reported to IC or any public sector with authority to protect the trees. The law also prohibits removal, hewing, relocation or any activity that may harm such old and valuable trees.