Tree over 125 years old gets dedicated to SPH

Tree over 125 years old gets dedicated to SPH

A TREE that is more than 125 years old has been dedicated to media group Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) by the National Parks Board (NParks) in appreciation of SPH's contributions to Singapore's greening efforts.

The 35m-tall Purple Millettia tree, which was planted as a sapling in 1889, has a dense, dome-like crown with dark glossy leaves. Reddish purple flowers bloom every four to six months.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will present the Heritage Tree Dedication Awards to SPH and two other companies today, at the launch of the Clean and Green Singapore 2015 campaign.

These trees have plaques in front of them to explain their significance and acknowledge the companies they are dedicated to. SPH chief executive officer Alan Chan said: "SPH is pleased to accept the dedication of the heritage tree, which signifies our close and continuous partnership with NParks in conserving flora and preserving nature."

Purple Millettia trees can be found along Minden Road, but the one dedicated to SPH is the oldest of its kind here. "This tree is a survivor," said Singapore Botanic Gardens director Nigel Taylor, yesterday. "It is known to survive poor soil conditions." This is the third time that heritage trees, which are given conservation status for their historical and ecological significance, have been dedicated to organisations or individuals to recognise their donations of at least $500,000 each to the Garden City Fund.

The fund supports Singapore's greening, nature conservation and education efforts.

SPH's heritage tree is sited behind the Botanic Gardens' Swan Lake. It is close to the SPH Walk of Giants, an upcoming elevated boardwalk in a forest that will showcase a collection of "giant" trees. The company donated $1.2 million to this cause. Since 2006, the SPH Foundation has also been sponsoring the NParks' Special Projects to Understand Nature Club, a series of nature appreciation tours for special needs children.

SPH aside, property group City Developments will have a Mengkulang tree, which is at least 200 years old, dedicated to it, while utilities and marine firm Sembcorp will have a Kedawong tree that is over 100 years old dedicated to it.

NParks also conferred the Heritage Tree status to 15 more trees, including a teak tree which is at least 130 years old. This brings the total number of such trees to 224.

A Heritage Tree has to be aesthetically, botanically, culturally or historically significant.

This article was first published on Nov 8, 2014.
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