NParks’ Urban Forest Website Maps Out 500,000 Trees In Singapore

Yishun has been called many things.

From the home of a serial cat-killer, to a place where bizarre things occur — like a random temple-dwelling taxi or a local cannabis drug lab.

But Yishun residents now have one more thing to boast about — being home to the largest native durian population in the country.

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How do we know this?

NParks has released their latest brainchild — a web portal that maps out where 500,000 trees are located in Singapore.

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We’ve snooped around the site and found 5 other unbe-leaf-able fun facts about our friendly woody residents in Singapore.

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1. Yishun is #blessed with the most durian trees in Singapore

A cool function on the website involves searching for your favourite tree either by ‘species’ or ‘location’.

The first thing we did was to search where all the durian trees in Singapore were, because priorities.

Trees.sg presented us with this cool map. The numbers in green circles represent the number of durian trees in each estate.

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Yishun is home to at least 130 durian trees. And if you’re one of the lucky residents who live near Yishun Avenue 1, get this.

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There’s a cluster of 80 durian trees, conveniently located along the road.

Of course, before you gear up to go durian-hunting, it’s probably wise to find out if it’s legal first.

2. Marina East has 720 coconut trees

Most of us have been shelling out loads of money to satisfy our coconut water cravings, but imagine if you had coconut trees near your house?

We ran a quick check on where coconut trees are flourishing in Singapore.

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Turns out, Marina East alone has a whopping 720 coconut trees.

We took a closer look at East Coast Parkway, only to discover this majestic line-up.

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Take note that the diameter of the dots represent the width of the trees.

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Many of these coconut trees seem to be at more than 2.0m wide — which means they’re probably mature and will eventually be ripe for the picking.

3. You can virtually hug a tree

Avid tree lovers will be familiar with the phrase, ‘hug a tree’.

Now, there’s a perfectly easy way to do so online — without the thorns and twigs getting in the way.

Send your favourite tree a virtual hug via Trees.sg with a simple click.

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Ms Rainbow Gum tree here for example is well on her way to becoming a tree-fluencer with 142 hugs and counting.

NParks has decreed that the tree that garners the most hugs will stand a chance to be featured as Tree of the Month.

4. Send fanmail to your favourite tree

If you’re not the hugging sort, you can always opt to wax lyrical about your nostalgic tree memories instead.

By that we mean sending your tree virtual “treemail”, about the stories or fond memories you’ve had involving the tree.

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“Leaf” a post, “log” a photo, or lodge a “flower report” by uploading a picture as proof.

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A cute pink flower icon will replace the regular green one, and the tree’s status will be updated to “I’m Flowering!”.

5. 3 famous tree celebrities

The eco-system of trees in Singapore may be pretty expansive — what with at least 500,000 trees mapped out on the website.

But it’s not true that all trees were created equal. Some of these trees are rooted in deep history and culture.

Here are just a few that you can try to hunt for on-site:

  • Tembusu Tree at Botanic Gardens

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Affectionately known as the 5-dollar-note tree to locals, this tree has stood the test of time, and played host to many pre-wedding photoshoots.

  • Flame of the Forest Tree planted by Mr Lee Kuan Yew

Back in 1963, Mr Lee planted a young sapling in Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital at Serangoon Road.

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55 years later, the tree is still standing and has continued to bear bright orange flowers for generations.

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  • Rain Tree or the ‘5 o’clock’ tree

A majestic umbrella-shaped tree, its Malay name is “Pukul Lima” — which means the ‘5 o’clock tree’.

The leaves of the tree reportedly close before sunset, which was set at 5pm in the past.

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Locals used to observe the tree to tell the time, giving it the name, ‘5 o’clock tree’.

This dome-shaped Rain Tree also serves as the iconic symbol for Mediacorp’s Raintree Pictures — the production house that gave us classic local movies like Jack Neo’s I Not Stupid and Roystan Tan’s 881.

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Yup, we took a direct hit to the nostalgia too.

Preserving our green heritage

We have no doubt that Singapore’s expanding urban landscapes will continue to push our literal boundaries as a city-state.

So it’s definitely heartening to see our country step up efforts to preserve and celebrate our green heritage too.

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After all, we’re striving hard to live up to our name as the world’s greenest city.

More importantly, we hope that Yishun’s best-kept secret durian population will only continue to grow.

Perhaps giving us another reason why we should build a wall around Yishun — to keep all the durian thieves out.

Featured image from Trees.sg.