Out-of-control tree trimming in Taipei

I know perhaps there are bigger things to complain about or question in Taipei. However, I’ll go forward with my petty gripe.

Can someone please explain why the trees that grow on some of the main streets (Xin Yi, Ren Ai, Tun Hua, and so on) are so mercilessly scalped when they get trimmed.

I’ll admit: I’ve never worked in forestry or the tree trimming business. Is this common–to cut down so much of the trees’ branches?

A co-worker told me that on XinYi and XinSheng this might have been done because of future constuction work for the MRT line coming through that way.

But generally speaking, many times I’ve seen beautiful tall trees reduced to trunks with a few forlorn branches teetering in the wind. What gives?

I also remember that someone was fined for illegally cutting down (or trimming) “old trees” in a neighborhood near DaAn Park.

And finally, to complete this rant, what is the deal with the trees in DaAn Park? Since 1995, I’ve seen trees (or saplings) propped up with stakes and posts. Shouldn’t those trees be able to stand by themselves now. I understand that DaAn is a new park (ten years old or so, right?). But shouldn’t those trees be standing on their own by now? And don’t even get me started with all the planting and replanting of flowers and shrubs done there. I know it’s great to keep the park workers busy, but may I humbly suggest that they just let the plants and trees in the park grow.

I thought this thread was about Christmas tree trimming and why some folks leave them up all year round…

Maybe they keep the stakes there in the sense of bonsai where they force them to grow in a certain direction, instead of naturally. Maybe it’s due to typhoons and it keeps those little guys rooted.

Anyway, give them time. Parks are a very new thing in Taipei city. They don’t really seem to have a clue how to deal with them yet.

When I first came to Taiwan I lived in a small Catholic mission in Taishan over by Mingzhigongzhuan (Nan Ya’s school where Wang Yung Ching used to run his race every year). The mission has some walled-in land, and along the inside of the walls were banyan trees. I used to prune these trees and was directed to prune the branches quite short. One of the reasons given was that this was to keep them from falling into other people’s fields during typhoons. Anyway, the branches grew back remarkably fast.

Maybe that’s what’s going on… or maybe they figure the shorter they prune the branches, the longer the time until they have to do it again??

This is true, especially with Taiwan’s mild climate.

Right. I think Tigerman and Alien both had some good points. I had also heard it said that the smaller trees are propped up with polls because of typhoons. I am not sure about the bonsai explanation, but that could have something to do with it.

Thanks for the comments. I am still going to puzzle on this one. I’ll let you know if I find out anything. I guess I really just like the “tree tunnels” that are found on parts of RenAi and XinYi. It is nice to walk down these streets are drive my scooter in the scooter lanes here. It’s cooler in the summer and it’s even nice to see the trees swaying in the wind when it rains. Contrast these streets with the open cement monstrosities of Heping or Keelung and there’s no contest (at least for me). I always try to take at least one tree-line boulevard whenever I go anywhere in Taipei.

So, I really like Taipei’s trees. And, though I do like trees and green spaces, I also like living in the city (so no plans to move out to the “sticks” in Yangmingshan or elsewhere).

Paranoid theory #1: It’s the mafia. Taibei City needs a way to put money in the coffers of its mafia buddies, so it constantly engages in ridiculous and unnecessary construction projects. Trees get trimmed to an extreme, and is it just me, or do they redesign and rebuild every park about once a year on average? Kind of like in Japan, where the yakuza-controlled construction companies get a steady stream of contracts for bridges to nowhere, additional highways to low-traffic areas. etc.

Again, just a paranoid theory. Right?

Whatever the exact reason, it has something to do with saving money.

Not at all. The mafia have decided to get out of less lucrative industries such as narcotics, prostitution, gambling and loansharking and have instead decided to concentrate on the real moneymakers - landscaping, horticulture and botany. :stuck_out_tongue:

They’ll pollard the trees if they’re planning to uproot them and relocate them. If they pollard (prune heavily) them early, the tree will be able to withstand the shock of being dug up later.

The other reason is to prevent them from being uprooted during typhoons.

I agree with this subject. The people who cut the trees are butchers. I have seen trees chopped completely down (against the law) but the city for no reason (near my house most recently) and “pruning” that was a disaster.
The Art Park is another joke. The trees there will never provide shade, ever! Who the fuck designed that place? Or the Da-an Twig Park? I’d like to stand the mayor out in the Art Park in the middle of August and say, “So, where shall we sit?”
It is a disgrace. If anyone wants to go and do something about it, I am all in. :imp:

– Maximum number of miles that Ford’s most fuel-efficient 2003 car can drive on a gallon of gas : 36
– Maximum number its 1912 Model T could : 35

Like your signature, Wolf (below, for posterity).

My 1989 Ford Granada 3.0 did 12mpg. My uncle’s 1969 Jensen Interceptor also did 12mpg. But it had a seven litre V8 engine. Twenty year’s progress. (BTW, you can get 45mpg out of a European Ford Ka. Something to do with petrol being US$6 a gallon ?)

Maximum number of miles that Ford’s most fuel-efficient 2003 car can drive on a gallon of gas : 36
– Maximum number its 1912 Model T could : 35

Typhoon damage