More than 2,100 trees transplanted last year: Khaw Boon Wan

SINGAPORE - More than 2,100 trees were transplanted last year, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan in a blog post on Thursday.

Many had to be moved because of flood alleviation projects or road works, such as those along Upper Thomson Road for the upcoming Thomson Line.

"We try to save every mature tree and transplantation allows us to achieve that," wrote Mr Khaw, who blogged last Friday about how a century-old olive tree at Gardens by the Bay recently bore flowers and fruit.

Before trees are transplanted, aborists from the National Parks Board (NParks) make sure that they are healthy and have a well-established root system that allows them to survive the move, he said in his most recent post.

They try and minimise "water stress" during a transplant, and give transplanted trees extra care afterwards in the form of watering and mulching, or putting material on top of the soil to conserve moisture and improve soil conditions.

Knowing how to transplant trees also helps to speed up the greening of new areas, Mr Khaw said.

NParks has "tree banks" where saplings are nurtured until they are semi-mature, before being transplanted to populate parks and streetscapes.

"We have a stock of more than 5,500 trees in our tree banks, comprising more than 40 different species," Mr Khaw said.