Taiping Lake Garden's century-old Samanea saman tree officially 'dead'

TAIPING: A 136-year-old Samanea saman tree, fondly known as Hujan-hujan, at the Taiping Lake Garden here was yesterday declared officially "dead" due to weak structural and anchor roots.

Taiping Municipal Council (MPT) in a statement said the tree near Taman Tasik Taiping jetty had earlier collapsed on Jan 20, 2018 due to heavy rain.

"The 136-year-old tree fell on the road due to a failed root system involving its structural and anchor roots.

"The main root which strengthens and holds the stand of the tree was rotten. The main root which was about 1.5 metres from the root collar had rotted with an estimated cavity of about eight inches in diameter.

"This tree has long been strengthened by these large roots that grow towards the parking lot, while most of the main branches and stems grow inclined towards the road and the lake," the council said in a statement.

The council said the Heritage Tree Inspection and Evaluation Report at Taiping Lake Garden released by the Certified Arborist in 2019 stated that the strength of the surviving branches would decline and die in a few months or a year and needs to be monitored immediately.

"We installed propping and treated the tree as suggested by the arborist.

"We had planted three rain trees as a measure to replace dead trees in 2019 which was completed by former MPT president Borhan Abdul Halim," the statement said.

To date, the council has officially tagged 113 rain trees at the park and also maintains over 1,300 other types of trees with help from arborists and experts from the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM).

Previously used as a mining ground, Taiping Lake Gardens is the first public garden established during the British rule in the country in 1880 and is fully administered by the council.

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