Taipei City's Cultural Affairs Bureau fined a city resident NT$50,000 yesterday for cutting down an old tree.
"The city landscape is made up of various trees and belongs to all citizens. No one has the right to damage it," said Damon Deng (
"That is why the Taipei City Tree Protection Bylaw (
The bylaw protects trees on both public and private property.
"Citizens are allowed to prune trees after applying to the Cultural Affairs Bureau for permission," Deng said.
Chinese-language media reports said the citizen fined is Liao Hsio-chung (
Hong Chiu-chia (
Liao was fined for cutting a mango tree, which was 15m high.
"The owner asserted that those trees were located on his private property so he could dispose of them at will," Hong said. "The green tunnel created by white poplars, pipals, ginkgos and myrtles is so special to our neighborhood that many residents were upset about their being cut down," Hong said.
Hong has devoted himself to preserving trees in the neighborhood for more than 15 years. He said he was hurt to see these old trees vanishing.
"The most beautiful Japanese houses in Taipei City are surrounded by these precious trees in this neighborhood. We want to keep them," Hong said.
Cultural Affairs Bureau chief Liao Hsien-hao (