The thousands of trees brought crashing down by Severe Typhoon Mangkhut at the weekend has demonstrated that the government seriously needs to improve its tree management abilities, a tree expert said on Wednesday.
The government says it received around 15,000 reports of fallen trees after the typhoon left a trail of destruction on Sunday, a figure described as "unacceptable" by Jim Chi-yung, chair professor of geography and environmental science at the Education University.
Jim said poor management was to blame for so many trees coming down, including the use of substandard soil which is strongly alkaline and damages roots. "You must have good quality soil, and secondly you must have a sufficient volume of soil so that the roots can grow properly and the roots can spread out to anchor the tree and support the tree. If it is well anchored and well supported, it wouldn't topple so easy," he said.
The professor said trees should therefore not be growing in tiny patches of soil along roadsides.
The tree expert added that it takes skill, experience and the right attitude to take care of trees, and the Tree Management Office really ought to brush up on its knowledge.