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Camphor trees may not survive transplant plan

Date Posted: 2008-01-04

Urban redevelopment and road expansion are forcing relocation of dozens of Camphor trees along Route 20 in front of the Okinawa City Police Station, but specialists say some will not survive the transplants.

The popular trees have lined Camphor Tree Street for decades, and citizens met with authorities eight times to decide the best way to save the trees while clearing the way for necessary progress. The Camphor Tree Street expansion from Uechi to the Morogawa area will expand the two-lane roadway to four lanes by 2011.

Asked what citizens wanted done with the trees, they encouraged transplants to the Nakagusuku castle ruins, but tree surgeons say some of the trees are too frail to survive the transplant process. Okinawa City residents are calling for the new roadway to be safe, and filled with lots of greenery and beauty as now exists.

“We’ve lived with these trees for more than 30 years together,” said one resident, “and we need to give them new life. Let’s make flower gardens by the trees.” Others suggest using leaves from the Camphor trees in clothing and product dyes.

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