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Thursday, Apr 15, 2021

learning on the way as QR code push takes root

Tree tags carrying QR codes will be put on more than 200,000 trees to allow people to learn more about them, Secretary for Development Michael Wong Wai-lun said.
The scheme will initially cover 10,000 trees and expand to the remaining 200,000 trees on pedestrian pavements next year.

There are about 1.7 million trees in Hong Kong maintained by the government, of which about one million are near locations that see high traffic levels.

"The Development Bureau has been actively exploring to apply smart technologies on tree management," tree management officer Paula Chan Yuen-man said.

She added that putting QR codes on the trees aims to bring convenience to people when reporting any problems with the trees. The project also aims to educate the public about the trees, such as their characteristics and fun facts.

Paul Chan Yuen-king, a representative of the consulting company responsible for the scheme, said basic information about the trees is already listed on their tags, including their Chinese name, scientific name and common name.

"Through scanning the QR code on the tree tag with a mobile phone, people can enter the website of the tree management office," Paul Chan said. "On the website, people can get more information about the tree, such as its species and its number."

When people find a tree has a problem, they can also report to the authorities by calling or e-mailing the 1823 service listed on the tree tag.

"As the tree number can also be found on the tag, people can refer to the tree locations accurately when reporting the problem," he said.

The QR code tree tags are expected to used to cover the whole city, especially trees located on pavements.

Trees at large transportation hubs, such as MTR stations and ferry terminals, are also included.

Chan said that about 10,000 tree tags involving 100 different kinds of trees will be placed in every district in the initial stage.

He hopes that the plan can help people better engage with the nature around them.

"This QR code project can engage people to be knowledgeable about trees by telling them more about the trees," said Chinese University Shu-ying Hu Herbarium curator David Lau Tai-wai, who helped with collecting and writing the tree information.
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