Four killed, 62 injured by fallen trees over last 10 years: Khaw

Channel NewsAsia 14 May 13;

SINGAPORE: Four people have died and 62 injured by fallen trees over the last ten years.

In 2012, there were 1,050 cases of tree failures, most of which were broken branches and uprooted trees. As of April 2013, there were 438 cases of tree failures, which is five per cent lower compared to the same period last year.

In a written parliamentary reply to Non-Constituency MP Gerald Giam, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said NParks has stepped up its inspection frequency of mature trees significantly since June 2012.

NParks manages over 1.4 million trees.

- CNA/ac

Measures in place to minimise tree falls
Straits Times Forum 14 My 13;

WE AGREE with Mr Daniel Chia that there is a need to ensure enough space for tree roots to grow ("Plant only deep-rooted trees along roads"; Forum Online, May 3). Most roads in Singapore have planting verges that are wide enough. For narrower verges, we are mindful to select smaller trees for planting.

But as Mr Heng Cho Choon pointed out, it is not possible to totally eliminate the risk of tree falls, as healthy trees can be affected by gusty winds and heavy rainfall ("Trees can be felled by natural forces beyond NParks' control"; Forum Online, May 6). Our records show that fallen branches and trees were mainly due to such adverse weather conditions.

We are aware of these concerns and assure the public that we are committed to minimising the number of falling trees and branches through enhanced training, continual review of tree management procedures and better use of technology.
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Our staff are certified by the International Society of Arboriculture, and we are adopting its best management practices. Continuing education programmes are also conducted regularly for our staff to ensure that they keep up with the latest knowledge and skills in arboriculture.

We thank Mr Chia and Mr Heng for sharing their concerns with us. More information is available on our tree care page at

Oh Cheow Sheng
Director, Streetscape
National Parks Board