Childhood Tree

YY Saga Tree

Yin Ying’s favourite is an old saga tree on Mount Emily. She used to go there after kindergarten ended and spent a lot of time collecting saga seeds, competing with her brother to see who could find the most.

“We dug around among the roots as if they were excavation sites,” she says. “For us, the most highly prized saga seeds were the oddballs: the strangely formed seeds with flat edges and yellow gradients. The red ones were common.”

2 trees in 1?

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It’s possible! We came across this interesting article from 1993 about a coconut tree that was lodged in a banyan tree. This 15-metre hybrid was spotted in a vacant plot of land near the Woodlands South Bus Interchange in 1993. Anybody knows if it’s still around?
Reference: The Straits Times, 22nd February 1993

One tree remains

Bukit Timah Hill

Only one tree remains of this former kampung at 15G Hindhede Road, which is also where Christopher Peh lived in 1975. Today we follow him back to his old home at the foot of Bukit Timah Hill. He remembers the houses were called ‘Black Houses’ and before his family moved in, and had been owned by Japanese people. This is the only tree that remains from the 1970s and he is very surprised that it is still here.

Hornbills spare 100 year old tree from the chain saw

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In 1995, a 100 year old Jelutong Tree sited at the edge of what was to be Sentosa’s newest theme park, Volcanoland, was spared after project owners found out that it was the nesting place of a pair of hornbills. The pair of hornbills that saved this Jelutong Tree stayed through the 14-month construction period. A vet was even called in when the male Hornbill fell ill from eating rubber pieces from the construction site.
Unfortunately, it was understood that both died a year later from food poisoning.
Reference: The Straits TImes 30 January 1995, The Straits TImes 22nd June 1996

“It seems inevitable that this tree might die soon”


Located at Venus Loop at MacRitchie, this fig tree has been the starting point of the Toddycats’ “Love MacRitchie Walks” since August 2013. The walks are part of an outreach campaign that supports the preservation of our Central Catchment Nature Reserve amidst plans to build an underground MRT tunnel across it.

Under this tree, guides explain the importance of figs in the ecosystem. The tree’s existence is not only uncertain due to redevelopment plans, it is also at the mercy of invasive plants such as the Zanzibar Yam and recent strong winds. Not long ago, it was seen upended, leaning on other plants and at the verge of toppling. However, its green leaves and figs hint at a determination to stay upright and survive and gives Chloe, a guide from Toddycats, a renewed belief in their campaign effort. “The fig tree might just make it. We might just succeed in convincing the government (to reconsider the alignment of the CRL)”.

Nature or sports enthusiasts who frequent the MacrRtchie area, do you have a tree that is special to you?

Story from Chloe Tan Yi Ting

“What if the tree was should be struck by lightning?” the owner told the reporter

Before NParks, there was little tree pruning and people worried about branches falling on passers-by. In 1954, this was the subject of an article in The Free Press (“Shop Owner Lives In Fear Of This Tree”). A shop owner at Gillman Close (off Ayer Rajah Road) worried about a fast-growing 100 ft tree that blocked the entrance to his shop.

Fear of Tree 2

The tree grew by 80 feet in less than 20 years and its roots left large cracks in the concrete slab and pavement. With no control over the tree’s growth, the shop owner worried that one of the branches may fall off and injure someone.

Fear of trees 1

Do you know of any monster trees?

Reference: The Free Press July 13 1954

Where is the tree of One Tree Hill?

One tree Hill

There are many trees that stand on One Tree Hill road today. Unfortunately, we don’t know if one of them is the namesake tree, or whether that tree has survived at all.

Here’s how it looked like in a picture from the Straits Times on March 8, 1936. The caption reads: “This is one of the few original jungle trees which survive in the suburbs of Singapore. It is also the tree which gives One Tree Hill its name. Its height can be judged from the rubber trees growing around it. The property known as One Tree Hill, off Grange Road, has been owned by Guthrie and Co. for many years.”

The Most Photographed Tree in Singapore


The tree that gives long after its dead. This is probably Singapore’s most photographed tree recently at the lovely Punggol Waterway Park. We are creating a Singapore tree map for this project. Do you have a tree you think we should include on the map? Let us know!

Trees as fire breaks in Singapore?


The Eugenia grandis, also known as the Sea Apple Tree or Jambu Air Laut (local name) is one species that cannot be killed by fire.

In fact, the Sea Apple tree was planted here even before Singapore gained independence. The British did this to cope with flammable plants such as the Lallang that covered many parts of the island back then. Some of these fire breaks are still around today. The one in the picture was taken at Stevens Road in 1993. Let us know the next time you spot one!

Taken from: The New Paper, 6 November 1993