Heritage lychee tree in Novena over 100 years old, has steel supports to withstand storms

A historical green landmark.

Ashley Tan | November 3, 10:05 am


Much effort has been made to maintain Singapore’s greenery, such as protecting our nature reserves and establishing new nature parks.

And the same goes for certain special trees dotted around the island.

Standing tall for over a century

In particular, one lychee tree has certainly withstood the test of time.

A photo of the massive tree towering at 18m tall was posted to Instagram by one Ariffin Jamar.

Ariffin stated that the lychee tree had been around for more than a century, which means it was already there when Singapore was starting to establish itself as a major port settlement.

The lychee tree can be found perched atop Mount Rosie in Novena, and is now supported by an extensive network of steel poles.

The large structure supports the tree’s branches and helps it withstand Singapore’s occasionally inclement weather.

Not only is it of significant height, the tree also boasts a girth of over 6.6 m, according to the National Parks Board (NParks).

Mount Rosie used to be a private driveway leading to lavish bungalows in the 1800s, and was named after Rosie De Souza, the wife of a wealthy merchant named Theodore H. Sohst, who previously lived there.

A heritage tree

This lychee tree in Novena holds a special status compared to the others lining the road on Mount Rosie.

The tree was conferred Heritage Tree status in 2017.

The Heritage Tree Scheme advocates the conservation of these ancient trees, and support structures and lightning conductors are often specially installed to protect them.

Lychee trees are typically native to South China and Southeast Asia, and this particular tree is the only lychee tree under the Heritage Tree scheme in the whole of Singapore.

Singapore currently has a total of 255 Heritage Trees, the specific locations of which you can check out here.

Arguably the most famous Heritage Tree is a Tembusu tree that resides in the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

It is reportedly over 180 years old, and is represented on our five dollar note as well.

Photo from NParks / FB

Heritage Trees are usually mature ones that help serve as “green landmarks” in Singapore, and “help us to identify with and stay rooted” to our home, according to NParks.

Heritage Trees typically have a girth of more than five metres, and convey some sort of social, historical, cultural or aesthetic value.

Anyone can submit a heritage tree nomination, following which NParks arborists and the Heritage Tree Panel will assess if the tree fits the above criteria.

You can read more about Heritage Trees here.

Top photo from @ariffinjmr / IG


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