We are making good progress in our effort to pedestrianise our Civic District. Specifically, we are creating a lawn in front of the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall. The plan calls for the transplanting of 8 mature rain trees to the front of the national monuments. The 8 majestic rain trees will frame and shade the new lawn.
The process of transplanting these gigantic trees is an engineering feat. Please view video of the actual operation:
I am happy to report that the operation for 7 trees was a success. This morning, we are moving in Rain Tree Number 8. Keeping our fingers crossed.
We are putting a lot of thought and passion into the rejuvenation of the Civic District. We want an integrated art, culture and lifestyle precinct set in a lush, green environment.
For example, the Esplanade Park nearby used to be known as “gor zhang chiu kar” in hokkien, or “under the shade of five trees”. Our seniors will remember that.
Unfortunately, the 5 Angsana trees had to be removed in the 1990s as they were affected by Fusarium wilt, a fungal disease. This fungus had also killed off many of our mature Angsana trees elsewhere.
Fortunately, our NParks horticulturists are a resilient lot. Over the years, they have specially propagated new Angsana trees that are genetically resistant to Fusarium wilt. Five of these special Angsana trees will be transplanted into Esplanade Park to recreate the old “gor zhang chiu kar”.
We have also been experimenting with new mixtures of fertiliser to improve the health and vigour of trees in the Esplanade Park and Empress Place area. With good results! The trees in the area are showing signs of rejuvenation. They are looking healthier with new shoots.
We are also installing new polypropylene structural cells under roads and other paved surfaces to provide our trees with space to anchor their roots. We are test-bedding this technology to grow a new row of trees along Queen Elizabeth Walk.
Separately, we are adding more volume and colour to the landscape. We will be planting Pigeon Orchids and Staghorn ferns on the trees, while old favourites such as the Mussaenda ‘Queen Sirikit’, Gardenias and Frangipani Singapore White will also be re-introduced.
Come to the Civic District for a walk and enjoy!
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