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Heritage Tembusu Tree that Toppled and Killed Indian National Collapsed due to 70 Percent Decay


The 40-m tall heritage Tembusu tree at the Botanic Gardens that collapsed and killed an Indian National in February toppled because its trunk broke.

In his statement before the Coroner’s Court, arborist Derek Yap said that the decay at the point where the trunk broke was 70 percent.

That point was at 2 metres above ground.

Yap told the court that he gathered information from Google Maps in 2014 to look for actual signs that would suggest decay in the tree.

He said he could not see any cracks or open cavities that would suggest decay in the trunk based on visual inspections (or “eye power”) alone.

He said the decay probably started quite long ago, coming possibly from the root under the tree.

Yap is former National Parks Board employee of 10 years, now runs his own private consultancy for trees.

He had examined the heritage tree of more than 270 years old after the incident and on three other occasions, felt that the tree’s toppling in this case was “unpredictable”.



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