Ancient trees, which are known as "green antiques", have been put under good protection in the capital of south China's Guangdong Province.
Zhang Qiaosong, director of the Guangzhou Institute of Landscape Gardening, said protection efforts have been made in legislation, scientific research and routine care.
Since 1985, when the Regulation on Protecting Ancient Rare Trees in Guangzhou was promulgated, some 602 trees have been officially put under protection.
Meanwhile, research on the prevention of termites, hole mending and rejuvenation has advanced steadily.
This year, a fourth appraisal of the ages of ancient trees has been completed and a tree-protection data bank is under construction.
To cover relevant outlay, a special fund of 1 million yuan (US$120,000) was allocated annually in the past two years by the Guangzhou Bureau of Parks and Woods.
Earlier this year, a new protection program was mapped out by the city government, which not only detailed the measures to be taken within the next eight years, but also defined the duty and tasks of relevant departments.
Given the tremendous importance of ancient trees in the study of a region's culture, history and natural environment, Zhang said the city's rare trees are as valuable as other historic relics.
However, most of the trees appeared to be rather fragile after typhoons, lightning strikes, insect pests and man-made damage.
(Xinhua News Agency October 22, 2002)