• State Local Government, Town, and Country Planning Committee chairman H'ng Mooi Lye explained that the system improves tree management efficiency and identifies high-risk trees that may break or fall, allowing for targeted and prompt action.

GEORGE TOWN (May 23): The Penang Island City Council (PICC) has established the Penang Tree Inventory System (PeTIS) to catalogue data on trees within its jurisdiction.

State Local Government, Town, and Country Planning Committee chairman H'ng Mooi Lye explained that the system improves tree management efficiency and identifies high-risk trees that may break or fall, allowing for targeted and prompt action.

"The system records information such as the type, location, size, health status, and maintenance needs of trees.

"Approximately 40,000 trees fall under the PICC's administration. So far, 15,848 trees along roadsides and in open spaces, with a circumference of 0.8 metres or more, have been catalogued in the system," he said today.

H'ng also noted that PICC conducts regular tree maintenance following arboricultural best practices.

He said that 561 out of 1,195 trees on the island have undergone risk assessment by the council, with the final report expected by the end of next month.

PICC has also hired specialised contractors to conduct risk assessments and tree maintenance on five roads: Jalan Macalister, Jalan Utama, Jalan Burmah, Jalan Kelawai, and Jalan Perak, he added.

"Preliminary checks indicate that 131 trees are categorised as unhealthy and require third-level risk mitigation. Tools like the 'Piscus Sonic Tomograph and Resistograph' will be used to detect internal decay in the trunks.

"There are 314 large majestic trees over 90 years old within the PICC's jurisdiction that require internal structural inspections to ensure public safety," he said.

He emphasised that the authorities are taking the issue of fallen trees and broken branches seriously, especially given the recent heavy rains, which pose safety risks to the public.

He mentioned that PICC and the Seberang Perai City Council have been instructed to submit reports on large, old trees in hazardous conditions in their respective areas.

H'ng highlighted that there are an estimated 115,706 trees in Seberang Perai, with 96,586 of them inspected and tagged on-site.

"This year, 23 trees have been identified as high-risk, with eight already felled and the remaining scheduled to be cut down soon," he said.

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