Questions have been raised regarding Nparks maintenance of trees in Singapore, following the recent collapse of a heritage Tembusu tree in the Botanic Gardens, and several other incidences of tree falls.
However, NParks has spoken out, saying its inspection and care of trees in Singapore is in line with global standards, and even exceeds the best practices of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) in some areas.
The agency says trees along expressways and major roads are inspected once every 6 to 12 months, and trees that are more than 4m in girth are accorded annual second-level inspections.
This is in line with ISA standards of an inspection every 1 to 2 years.
NParks said tree care staff also undergo arborist certification exams every 2 to 3 years of service.
Other measures taken to improve the general health of trees include routine mulching to supplement regular fertilisers and pruning to improve trees’ structure and balance.
Speaking at a media briefing earlier today, NParks Group Director Oh Cheow Seng said that the agency takes an “adaptive approach” to tree management, and that it has implemented more stringent inspections over time following unpredictable and severe weather.
He declined to comment on the collapse of the Tembusu tree, citing police investigations, but did say that:
“Trees react to changes in environmental, site and soil conditions. Tree care can mitigate risks but healthy trees can be affected by strong wind gusts and rainfall.”