Shanghai Government Fines Resident $21,500 for Trimming His Own TREE

Shanghai Government Fines Resident $21,500 for Trimming His Own TREE


Shanghai authorities fined a retired man $21,500 for trimming his own tree. 

The 73-year-old man known as Li hired workers to trim his camphor laurel tree which grew two decades ago.

The tree stood in his backyard in the residential community he lives.

Authorities told Li that he violated the city’s greenery regulations. 

He should not have cropped a tree without obtaining the government’s approval.

“I don’t understand this heavy punishment,” Li told the CCTV report

Li also clarified that he was not cutting the tree but was only making the branch short.

“I didn’t want to cut it at all. I love trees, so I bought this tree.”

“My intention was to trim to it shorter. Therefore, I don’t need to fix it in the next couple of years,” he said.

Officials deemed Li’s action as “cutting” instead of “trimming.”

The old tree, which is two meters tall, can no longer resume its crown shape within a growth cycle.”

According to a 2006 Shanghai greenery management rule, Li’s camphor tree has a value of $4,443.

People who cut camphor trees will pay five times its value.

Li paid $21,500 or 144,200 yuan but felt “wronged” and “helpless.”

Before trimming the tree, Li called the authority to check if he should go through any application process.

However, officials told him that they don’t handle applications from individuals.

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