The iconic “Takeshi Kaneshiro tree” — named after Taiwanese-Japanese actor Takeshi Kaneshiro (Jin Cheng-wu, 金城武) and arguably the most famous tree in eastern Taiwan — has made a remarkable recovery at the hands of a Japanese tree doctor after it was uprooted by Typhoon Matmo last year.
Arborist Tokuo Yamashita, who is among the most eminent tree doctors in Japan, on Friday said that the tree is no longer in a critical condition, but still requires intensive care, including bracing, bandaging, weekly watering and soil reconditioning to allow the roots to grow deeper underground.
It would take at least another four to five years for the tree to fully recover, he said.
Photo: Wang Hsiu-ting, Taipei Times
The red cedar has become a popular tourist attraction in Taitung County’s Chihshang Township (池上) after being featured in an EVA Airways commercial starring Kaneshiro riding a bicycle along the rural road and stopping in the shade of the tree to drink a cup of tea.
After the tree was felled by the typhoon, the airline asked Yamashita to treat it.
He has made three house calls to save the tree since last year, with the latest visit on Thursday, saying he was initially not optimistic about the tree’s recovery when he saw it uprooted and lying on the ground last year.
However, the tree is showing good vital signs and is growing a much larger volume of leaves without withered branches, while damage to the trunk has been contained, he said, although he added that the tree’s roots — which normally grow more than 60cm underground — could not reach deeper than 10cm in depth.
This is possibly because of shallow watering and hardened soil due to tourists walking around the tree, he said.
Friends of Daan Forest Park Foundation vice director Kaven Chen (陳鴻楷) said a tree hole cover would be installed to prevent the roots from being weighed down by tourists and farm vehicles, without depriving tourists of the opportunity to get closer to the tree.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up