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Anger as old trees illegally cut in two

CITY greenery officials carried out emergency rescue work over the weekend in a bid to save old trees illegally cut in two for blocking out sunlight at a complex. Workers applied sealant to the 27 trees at Caobao Road to prevent further deterioration, but were unsure whether they would survive, said Liu Haiyan, an official with Xuhui District Greenery Bureau. According to Liu, greenery officials would work with the city urban management team to investigate the Xufang Property Management Company at the complex. It is claimed that Xufang organized the work on the dawn redwood and camphor trees, which are more than 50 years old, without permission. On Friday, a web user, claiming to be a resident at the Yibiao complex, complained that all the old trees there had been cut in two and that the property management company hadn't sought residents' views. The trees, which had stood seven floors tall, were reduced to one-third of their previous height, with only their trunks remaining. "They were so tall and strong that the workers spent a whole week cutting them down," said a 65-year-old resident surnamed Huang. "I couldn't stand the noise as it sounded as though the trees were crying," Huang said. Some elderly residents said they had watched the trees being planted and growing up from saplings after they moved to the complex in 1958. According to Huang, the first batch of residents were mostly workers from a nearby instrument and meter factory. "The trees reminded us of the old times when we were working together in the factory," said Huang. But to other residents the trees were too tall, had blocked out the sunlight for years and attracted insects to their apartments. "The trees had grown into our balconies that sometimes we feared lightning would strike them," said a 60-year-old resident surnamed Han. An official with the neighborhood committee told Shanghai Daily that they canvassed residents and had 97 percent supporting the work. However, some residents said they knew nothing about the poll.

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