Authorities on Monday said they have removed a special old tree in Wan Chai because its fungal infection has worsened and posed safety hazards.
The Ficus microcarpa on Queen's Road East, which measured 11 metres tall, was listed in the government’s Register of Old and Valuable Trees. It was confirmed with the brown root rot disease in late 2020.
The Highways Department said despite strengthening maintenance works for the tree, officials found that leaves were sparse and there was further wilting during an assessment earlier this year.
"In addition, mycelial crust was also found on more areas of the tree base, indicating that [the disease] had further spread and caused irreversible health and structural damage to the tree, posing a risk of tree failure," it said in a statement.
The department said an ornamental plant will be replanted nearby, adding that it will only consider removing problematic trees when no other viable mitigation measures are available.