The Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) announced last week it will plant approximately 2,000 trees by the end of 2018.
According to Ung Sio Wai, head of IACM’s Division for the Greening of the City of the Department of Gardens and Green Areas, the replantation is one of the steps the authorities are taking to make up for the damage to local greenery during last year’s Typhoon Hato.
The replantation will cover between 70 and 80 percent of the number of trees lost during Typhoon Hato.
The new trees will be small as “we are afraid they [the trees] might fall when facing the wind season. We will plant small trees and let them grow slowly; [the trees] will blossom in several years,” explained Ung, adding that “the small trees will blossom near main roads and pedestrian walks. In relatively more open places, we will plant middle-sized trees.”
According to Ung, trees in the northern district were more heavily damaged by Typhoon Hato than other parts of the city. IACM will plant small or middle-sized trees there in order “to ensure that during the next wind disaster, there will not be too many big trees falling.”
The replanted trees will also match a new urban landscape. Later in March, IACM will launch a green week, during which hundreds of trees will be planted.
Ung noted that 500 hectares of mountainous area have been reported damage across Coloane. The worst-hit area sits next to Coloane Fitness Walk.
The Macau government has asked the Guangdong Forestry Department to assist with its recovery, as it will take Macau approximately 10 years to restore all trees lost in the mountains.
Ung revealed that the types of trees for replantation were all recommended by the Guangdong Forestry Department, and that the new trees will also come from the Guangdong province.
Approximately 15 types of trees have been selected which are native to Macau. However, banyan and cotton trees “are no longer suitable” for Macau, according to Ung.
“During the disaster, most of the trees that fell were these ones. They will not go extinct, but [we] will plant less [of these types of trees],” said Ung.
Around 44 ancient trees were damaged during Typhoon Hato, nine of which had to be removed.