- A tree in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur, was marked to be cut down by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources because of the possible risk of it collapsing
- The tree in question is a Philippine Rosewood tree, said to be the tallest and the oldest in the country, and is estimated to be at least 300 years old
- Local residents and local government officials worked together to prevent the tree from being cut down as they see it as part of their local heritage
Trees are a very important resource for us. They provide raw materials that we use for a lot of things such as construction and fruit-bearing trees provide food that we can eat. Trees are also what filters the air around us. Trees grow slowly and one tree can live for hundreds of years. This is what local residents and a few government officials had in mind when they all wanted to protect a certain tree.
From an article by The Inquirer, In San Francisco, Agusan del Sur, there is an old Philippine Rosewood tree, also known as Toog, that is said to be the tallest and the oldest in the country. It is estimated to be at least 300 years old and is around 54 meters tall. It is found along Maharlika Highway at Brgy. Alegria.
The Department of Environment and National Resources saw the tree and has see that part of its trunk appears to have formed a decay and is feared to collapse at any time, and they have given the go signal to cut the tree to prevent any accident from happening.
With the word of that announcement, the residents of the area, other local government officials, and environmental advocates protested and wanted to save the tree as they consider it as part of their local heritage and that it is also a tourist attraction.
Dr. Marcelino Pacho, an expert on trees, said that the decay seen on it can still be treated. Jose Kanapi, Vice President of the Society of Filipino Foresters in Davao, also said that the tree is covered by the tree preservation law and that the order from DENR should not have been immediate.
Engineer Jaime Bernat, a retired public works official, said that reinforced concrete buttress can be used to prop the Toog tree while it is being treated, and Mayor Solomon Rufila assured that they will do all that they can to protect the oldest and tallest tree in the country.
We hope that an arrangement can be done as it may be a waste if a tree of such a height and history would just be cut down easily.