To Avoid the “Hardening and Death” of Ancient Trees, CBCGDF CCA for ancient trees at Anyang Recommends that Urgently Remove the Hardened Layer Around Ancient Trees Throughout the Country
2020/4/23 16:59:00 本站

In recent years, due to the hardening of the ground around the ancient trees, and even the roots of the trees have been completely sealed off, leading to the increasing number of death cases of ancient trees, which has caused great attention from scholars in related academic circles. Tree growth requires sufficient water and nutrients. When there is hardening around the old trees, the water and nutrients are cut off, and the growth of the old trees is restricted. Although no obvious harm can be seen in the short term, even decades do not seem to have any effect. The time for ancient trees is short.


We saw many ancient trees die suddenly, one of the reasons is that the roots of the trees were hardened. "We pay close attention to observe that many ancient trees have died one after another, that is, within a few decades, a few decades are just a generation. Within a generation's visible time, a thousand years old trees suddenly died. No people pay attention to them. Maybe in a few decades, the ancient trees in the city will be nearly extinct. From the city to the countryside, the number of ancient trees will be greatly reduced. The act of sealing down the roots of ancient trees urgently requires human intervention”, Shen Wangping, the director of China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) Community Conservation Area for ancient trees at Anyang (CCAfa) said: "We cannot let the ancient trees of China be destroyed by the hands of our generation."


I. Ecological scientific basis for removing the hardened layer of ancient tree roots


China's urbanization and new rural areas are accelerating. Road construction and housing construction have caused the roots of ancient trees to be completely sealed by cement, and the surrounding areas of ancient trees have been hardened extensively. Although the roots of ancient trees distributed in the building yards of various places have not been sealed, only a small tree pond has been left, which is not commensurate with the huge roots, trunks and crowns of ancient trees, and is almost completely sealing up can't meet the growth needs of ancient trees at all.


1. A large area around the ancient tree is covered with cement, and the physical and chemical properties of the soil, microbial environment, etc. have undergone major changes, affecting the tree's absorption of moisture and minerals and other nutrients, so that it cannot meet the tree's growth needs.


2. The poor air permeability of the soil seriously affects the respiration of trees. A large part of the respiration of trees is through the root system. The hardened ground blocks the air communication between the underground and the ground, and the respiration is blocked, causing ancient trees growth gradually declined.


3. Increased chemical hazard to trees. The soil itself has the function of decomposing chemical pollutants, and the hardened ground covers the soil strictly and solidly, so that the soil loses its due role, so that the environmental pollution is objectively increased, and the environmental pollution has certain harmful effect on the survival and growth of trees.


The above three ecological reasons have led to the decline of ancient tree vigor. After removing the hardened cement layer, in accordance with the law, there can be no hardening within 5 meters of the vertical projection of the canopy of the ancient tree. Within 5-15 meters, it can be laid with permeable floor tiles to achieve the purposes of both water permeability and ventilation.


If the shrinkage of the crown of the ancient tree becomes smaller, the treatment range is more than 50 times the maximum cross-sectional area of the tree body.


II. The cases of the "suddenly dead" ancient tree whose roots were completely sealed


In August 2019, the ancient locust tree in Cangxiang street, an Internet-viral street, Anyang, died suddenly due to the electricity leakage caused by the neon lights installed on the ancient tree.


In September 2019, the ancient jujube tree king in Anyang suddenly died. Obviously, the hardening of the road sealed the root of the jujube tree.


Also, in September 2019, Anyang albizia tree king suddenly died; the three trees mentioned above have died, which makes people sigh.


III. Legal and regulatory basis for dismantling the hardened layer of roots and hanging objects of ancient trees


Article 13 of China's "Administrative Measures on the Protection of Ancient and Famous Trees in Cities" prohibits the following acts that damage the ancient and famous trees in cities:


1. Scribing, posting or hanging items on the tree;


2. Borrow trees as support or fixed objects during construction and other operations;


3. Stacking materials within 5 meters of the vertical projection of the canopy, digging pits for borrowing, constructing temporary facilities, dumping hazardous sewage, and waste, using open flames or emitting smoke;




Article 14 Where construction projects of new construction, alteration, and expansion affect the growth of ancient and famous trees, the construction unit must propose evasion and protection measures. The urban planning administrative department shall obtain the approval of the urban landscape and landscaping administrative department when going through the relevant formalities, and report to the city’s people's government for approval.


"The condition of the ancient trees deteriorated, not only because the ground hardened, but also because they were surrounded by construction waste," Zeping said, "Therefore, I suggest that the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, from the perspective of national coordination, launch a nationwide synchronized action to urgently remove the hard layer of roots of all ancient trees in China, so as to ensure the normal root breathing of ancient trees, so as to reduce the number of ancient trees dying in a generation."


Zeping said that where conditions permit, ancient trees can be fenced, the fence to be built in accordance with the law beyond the vertical projection of the tree canopy within 5 meters of the fence, at the same time, the tree canopy vertical projection of the tree within 5 meters of the combustible, as well as the tree canopy hanging things, especially to remove the neon lights on the ancient trees. There have been a number of cases in China where electricity leaks from neon lights have led to the death of ancient trees.


Zeping believes that the roots of individual ancient trees are close to the foundation of the house, and it is impossible to remove the hardened layer immediately. These suggestions are only for eligible ancient trees. However, it is still recommended that the state has a long-term plan to demolish the buildings around the ancient trees after giving the homeowner adequate compensation.

(Photo credit: CBCGDF)

Original Chinese article:

By / Maggie, Hong Peijia