New Taipei City has put eight more old trees under municipal protection, including a Ficus nervosa estimated to be 250 years old, bringing the number of protected trees in the municipality to 1,050.
The announcement on Wednesday followed the city council’s passage last year of a municipal ordinance on tree conservation, after environmentalists and tree lovers demanded measures.
The ordinance said the city should protect “valuable” trees that are more than 50 years old, have cultural, historic or scientific value, or whose girth exceeds 90cm as measured 1.3m above the ground.
Photo: Chiu Shu-yu, Taipei Times
The Urban Landscape Section of the city’s Agriculture Department said that it regularly inspects protected trees for health and carries out constant improvements to their environment.
Cutting protected trees is forbidden unless absolutely necessary, and while it is possible for urban developers to transplant them, they must submit plans to ensure their survival for approval by the section, it said.
The section last year added 11 old trees to the protection list, including a 110cm-thick camphor and a 120cm banyan flanking the Department of Irrigation and Engineering office’s parking lot in Tamsui District (淡水), section chief Hsieh Hung-wei (謝宏偉) said.
Both trees are estimated to be more than 100 years old, he said.
The trees approved for conservation on Wednesday include chinaberry and Elaeocarpus serratus trees, and their status will become official soon after the completion of formal procedures, he said.
The oldest among the eight is the Ficus nervosa in Sindian District’s (新店) Guangsing Borough (廣興), he said.
According to the Council of Agriculture, the ficus tree is 200cm thick and an estimated 250 years old, making it possibly the oldest tree in New Taipei City, Hsieh said, adding that a local shrine is dedicated to the tree.
Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger said he does not foresee a Chinese military invasion of Taiwan in the next decade, although it is “perfectly possible” that China could seek to weaken the island’s status. “I don’t expect an all-out attack on Taiwan in, say, a 10-year period, which is as far as I can see,” Kissinger said yesterday in an interview on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS. Kissinger, 98, who also served as national security adviser and helped pave the way for then-US president Richard Nixon’s historic 1972 visit to China, said that “everyone wants to be a China hawk” and
Taiwanese actress Big S, also known as Barbie Hsu (徐熙媛), and Chinese restaurateur Wang Xiaofei (汪小菲) officially announced their divorce yesterday, stating the decision was cordial and that they would be raising their two children together. The statement came by proxy through the couple’s legal counsel, filed by both Wang and Hsu. Hsu and Wang thanked fans for their love and support, with the couple saying that fate had blessed them with a time of happiness, and that they were grateful for their time together. They said that while they walked hand-in-hand as husband and wife, they would continue a cordial relationship as
UNUSUAL PUNISHMENTS: Tortuous and possibly criminal penalties doled out by nine officers to a napping cadet have sparked calls for standardized discipline rules Defense experts called on the Ministry of Defense to create a standard code for maintaining discipline, after local media on Saturday reported that nine officers were reprimanded for administering inappropriate punishments to a conscript in Kinmen. Earlier last week, a boot camp recruit surnamed Chung (鍾) was stripped of his shirt and had icepacks placed against his armpits and crotch as a punishment for napping during physical training, the Kinmen Defense Command confirmed on Saturday. The command cadre of the battalion, including the battalion commander, the political warfare officer and the sergeant who ordered the drill have been transferred and could face
DESTABILIZING: Beijing’s efforts to choke Taiwan, pressure its friends and hamper its democracy are a threat to the world, AIT Director Sandra Oudkirk said China’s provocative military activities near Taiwan are destabilizing and risk “miscalculation,” American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Sandra Oudkirk said yesterday, reiterating the US’ objection to any unilateral changes to the “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait. Oudkirk made the remarks in a speech at the annual conference of the Association of International Relations in Taipei. “In the Indo-Pacific region, America’s effort to resolve and manage differences with the leadership of the People’s Republic of [PRC] faces distinct challenges,” she said, referencing a range of actions by China that she said run counter to the shared values and interests of the