Zhou Hanqi from the Shanghai Institute of Botanic Physiology studies cherry trees from Fujian Province yesterday. The city is testing a number of tree species including cherry trees, camellias and maple trees as part of a plan to plant them during the winter in Shanghai. The tests should be completed in 2008.
Shanghai is conducting tests on a number of tree species that bloom over the winter, as part of a plan to add a little color to Shanghai's streets during the coldest months of the year.
Trees that bloom in the winter have been imported from inland parts of China, Europe and North America.
Shanghai Chengtou Landscaping Technology Development Co Ltd is currently testing the trees, and the tests should be completed in 2008, according to Wang Cheng, the project manager.
New trees included cherry trees from Fujian and Yunnan provinces, camellias from Zhejiang Province, Swedish hamamelis, and Canadian maple trees. They bloom from November to February.
The biggest problem with growing these trees in the city is the high pH levels in Shanghai's soil, which is generally over eight. Most of the trees grow best in soil with a pH level of six to seven.
Once the level tops 8.5, the soil will lose its essential nutrients.
Researchers are looking for ways to lower the pH value and maintain a stable level.
The test results have been promising so far, but some hurdles remain.
"We have dropped the soil pH value, and now we have to keep it stable," said company General Manager Qian Youyu.
(Shanghai Daily February 22, 2006)