Hangzhou to plant new willows along West Lake after removals spark debate

2022-05-12 Editor : Zhao Li ECNS App Download

(ECNS) -- Hangzhou authorities promised to plant new willow strains along West Lake after seven wilting trees were replaced with Chinese roses, triggering a heated debate among citizens.

The seven willow trees, which once grew along the bank of the West Lake, were replaced with Chinese roses during an environmental improvement project.

Weeping willows around the West Lake are embedded with great cultural significance in China.

Orioles Singing in the Willows, a public park founded in Song Dynasty featuring weeping willow trees, is one of the best 10 Scenic Spots in West Lake Park.

There are many verses about willows near West Lake in ancient poems.

"A riot of blossoms begins to dazzle the eye; amid short grass the horse hoofs can barely be seen. I love best the east of the lake under the sky; the bank paved with white sand is shaded by willows green," renowned Tang Dynasty poet Bai Juyi wrote in his poem "On Qiantang Lake in Spring." Qiantang Lake is the West Lake.

“Weeping willows are the logo of West Lake, why should they be taken away?” asked a netizen.

The seven willows grew under a large canopy of plane trees, which had prevented them from receiving sunshine, leading to wilting and hidden danger to tourists, Hangzhou West Lake Scenic Area Management Committee replied on a social platform Wednesday.

“After asking advice from garden experts, we relocated the seven wilting willows. But we will plant willows strains with low height and beautiful shapes here in the future, respecting the opinions of experts and citizens,”the committee added.

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