• RICS supports adopting thermal technologies for tree inspection Put an end to tragic cases of fallen trees wounding citizens

    29 August 2014

    The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is aware of trees falling and causing significant injury or even casualties in Hong Kong, and suggests speeding up the adoption of thermal technology for the inspection of trees to protect public safety.

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    The existing tree inspection procedures involves normal visual inspection first, and if a problem is spotted by the eye, to proceed with sonar detectors or micro-drilling resistance tests. However, these measures are not able to fully measure internal problems of diseased trees, which in turn can lead to trees falling and causing tragedy once again. RICS proposes adopting a tree inspection method used in the U.K. which uses thermal imaging to identify if there is imbalanced heat emissions from the tree. The thermo image upon interpretation by experts would then signify that the tree may be unhealthy from within. Thermal imaging can work at a reasonable distance and can effectively examine trees high above the ground, and ultimately compensate for deficiencies in the existing visual inspection method.

    Cheng Wai Pun, Chairman of the RICS Hong Kong Geomatics Professional Group Committee mentioned: “In recent years, several cases of fallen trees in Hong Kong have led to casualties. The government should accelerate the adoption of effective new technologies in tree inspection procedures and solutions. Not only will this help prevent tragedies from happening again, but also strengthen the overall management and maintenance of trees, which then ensures healthy trees and a safer Hong Kong for the public.”

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