Forest restoration milestone - Hong Kong rare oak species flowering for the first time

KFBG Diary

Hu’s oak (Cyclobalanosis hui) - an extremely rare native oak species, is showing a rebound at our tree planting site. There are approximately 20 known mature trees in only one specific location in Hong Kong (Pat Sin Leng), but we are fortunate to have more than 10 trees currently flowering at our forest restoration site. These trees will hopefully produce fruits later in the year.

Hu’s oak (Cyclobalanosis hui)

Flowers of Hu’s oak (Cyclobalanosis hui)

This signifies a great achievement directly linked to our conservation and restoration efforts. The first individuals were planted in 2005 in an area destroyed by a wildfire the year before, unfortunately these seedlings failed to successfully grow. Only after implementation of plot based restoration and a standardised management plan, the species is now thriving at our tree planting site. Soil amendments such as biochar and mulch as well as protection by tree guards have proven to be the key components for the successful establishment of this species. The successful establishment of a new reproducing population of such a rare species in Hong Kong, reassures our efforts on plant conservation.