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Removal of ash trees sparks outcry in Henan


10:29, April 12, 2013

Almost 200 ash trees were removed and replaced by gingkoes in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan province, most likely because the ash tree's name is not auspicious in Chinese, Henan Business Daily reported on Thursday.

The 182 ash trees were planted along Nongke Road in 2006 and offered shade for pedestrians during the summer.

Wang Xu, an official in charge of city management, was quoted as saying the ash trees were removed because they were infected by a pest, and their wide and drooping branches affected transportation on the narrow Nongke Road.

The Chinese name of the ash tree is Baila, which is homophonic with "baile", which can mean you get nothing from your business.

On one of China's popular micro blog sites Weibo, a survey showed that more than 90 percent of users agreed that there is no need to replace ash trees with gingkoes.

Nearly 80 percent of people surveyed consider the action a waste of manpower and money.

Local residents complained that the removal of ash trees would make the heat during the summer worse, as gingkoes grow slow and cannot provide shade for years.

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