November 30, 2022

City Environment and Parks Management Officer Rhenan Diwas said the office employed only pruning and not cutting on the African tulip trees at Rizal Park to ensure safety of other tree species in the area.
“What we pruned were Spathodea campanulata popularly known as African tulip trees.  These trees are invasive weed trees and in fact, being eradicated in other countries because they threaten biodiversity,” Diwas said.
“In recent years, it was discovered that the nectar and pollen of the S. Campanulata contain toxins that are poisonous for insects, including bees. It is nominated as among the 100 ‘World’s Worst’ invaders,” he added.
He said this tree species nevertheless is one of the fastest growing trees.
He added the pruned African tulip trees at Rizal Park will sprout new leaves in a short time.
Diwas said the Cepmo is concentrating its efforts on growing indigenous trees to dominate the city instead of these invasive exotic or imported trees.
“Indigenous trees are far better as they support and enhance biodiversity,” he said.
To persons who criticized Cepmo’s act, he has this to say:  “Relax. We too care for the environment as much as you do.”
Advocates for the environment are critical against the cutting of trees in the city.
The Department of Public Works and Highways will cut 31 trees to give way to various projects that are located in various parts of the city.
The trees to be cut are said to be standing on road-rights-of way. – Aileen P. Refuerzo