Register of Old & Valuable Trees

The Hong Kong Government has established a Register of Old and Valuable Trees to ensure that the trees can be well preserved and maintained, which are our heritage and precious natural resources. Here you can learn more about the Register, what it records for protection and how to access it.

Recording Our Natural Heritage

Since 2004, the Register of Old and Valuable Trees has recorded some 500 trees on un-leased Government land within built-up areas and tourist attraction spots in village areas. These trees are distinguished in the following categories.

  • Trees of large size
  • Trees of precious or rare species
  • Trees of particularly old age (e.g. aged 100 or above)
  • Trees of cultural, historical or memorable significance;and
  • Trees of outstanding form.

Additional requirements for assessment include the health and physical condition of an individual selected tree, its life expectancy and its location. The Register contains details of the trees, photos of each tree and location plan as well as a search function for specific old and valuable trees.

Search for information of registered old and valuable trees

Trees of Large Size

A tree can be included in the Register if it is particularly large, either in trunk diameter, height or canopy spread. This, of course, takes into consideration the normal average size of the tree's species. The following standards are generally used.

  • Trees of trunk diameter of 1 metre or more when measured at 1.3 metres above ground level
  • Trees of height at 25 metres or over
  • Trees with a canopy spread of 25 metres or more in diameter

Trees that fulfil any one of these criteria will be considered for inclusion in the Register.

Trees of Precious or Rare Species

A tree can be added to the Register when it is judged to come from a species that is scarce in Hong Kong. A list of rare species has been prepared by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. The list is not exhaustive and other species not on the list could be regarded as precious or rare species after due consideration.

Trees of Particularly Old Age

Those trees that are aged 100 years or older can be added to the Register. This can be established by checking recorded dates of tree plantings. If the planting date is not known, the tree is compared to others of the same species that have been identified as aged 100 years or more.

Trees of Cultural, Historical or Memorable Significance

A tree that is known to have cultural, historical and memorable significance can be added to the Register. Trees of this type can be identified as belonging to one of the following categories.

  • Trees with cultural significance, including well known Fung Shui trees in urban areas, such as the banyan tree in the Yau Ma Tei Community Centre Rest Garden, or such trees within known woodlands
  • Trees with historical significance that is supported by evidential records, such as the Burmese rosewood outside the Central Government Offices
  • Trees with memorable significance, such as those planted by senior government officials, local or foreign dignitaries and celebrities to commemorate special events

Trees of Outstanding Form

A tree of outstanding form can also be included in the Register. Examples of such trees are as follows.

  • The Tree House in Shui Mei Tsuen Playground at Kam Tin
  • The hollow tree at Lai Chi Wo
  • Trees with a natural fusion of branches or with curtain-like aerial roots
  • Trees growing on old stone retaining walls and displaying a well-balanced form or curious growth form.
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Last review date: October 2023
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