Why so botak? Netizens complain over excessive pruning of trees at Ang Mo Kio, with one comparing it to 'Brazilian wax'

Facebook user Jessica Poh made a post complaining about how some trees in Ang Mo Kio had too little foilage left after pruning.
PHOTO: Facebook/Jessica Poh

To prune or not to prune? That's what a recent Facebook post has got netizens debating about. 

Facebook user Jessica Poh posted four photos of some trees around Block 347 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 last Friday (Aug 12), sharing her concerns about how the trees there had "too little foliage left" after they were pruned.

"Some branches don't even have any leaves left," Poh wrote. 

She added that while she understood there might be issues with birds nesting in the trees, she pointed out that trees can "reduce heat reaching the building[s]" and could potentially help residents reduce their electricity bills.

In her post, she also appealed to the Ang Mo Kio Town Council to make "better use of our conservancy fees" to hire other companies that are more skilled in maintaining greenery in that estate.

Poh's post received over 116 comments from netizens who seemed divided over how much the trees should be pruned as well as who gave the instructions to prune those trees.

Some argued for tree pruning, saying that it was needed for the tree's "healthy growth" while others disagreed, countering that the trees were meant to act as sound barriers. 

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook 

There were also some netizens who felt that the decision of how much to prune the tree should be left to the experts. 

One netizen also raised a point about how having fuller trees could potentially be a safety hazard for residents.

Aside from debates about how much the trees should be pruned, one netizen took the opportunity to poke fun at the botak trees, calling it a 'Brazilian wax'. 

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook 

Funnily enough, the post also caused two netizens to get into a heated debate about squirrels. 

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook 

Another netizen highlighted the potential hazards of fuller trees, citing that branches have fallen onto his car windscreen twice. 

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook 

AsiaOne has reached out to the Ang Mo Kio Town Council for more information. 

According to the information on NParks' website about caring for trees in urban environments, trees need to be pruned for various reasons — such as to direct their growth, when they grow into the path of pedestrians or vehicles, or simply for tidiness. 

Mature trees may also require pruning to remove dying or diseased branches and to reduce wind resistance on the entire canopy. 

Arborists, or 'tree doctors', usually inspect trees and prescribe specific methods of pruning to improve the health and safety of the tree. 

ALSO READ: He climbs trees for a living and calls it the 'career of his life'

claudiatan@asiaone.com