Global warming has had an affect on Beijing's temperature in recent years, delaying the onset of fall foliage, according to a Legal Mirror report.
According to the park's official website, 22 percent of the trees' leaves at Fragrant Hills had changed colors by October 11 due to rain and a temperature drop the day before. However, Tong Yonghong, the publicity director of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Landscape and Forestry, predicted that colors would not peak until the end of this month.
"Last year, we almost had no peak in color because of the early snow. Leaves were frozen and fell off before even turning yellow or red," said Tong.
The dominant autumnal colors at Fragrant Hills are attributed to its 100,000 smoke trees, whose crimson hues draw huge crowds each year. The gingko trees at Diaoyutai and the maples in the Imperial City Wall Relics Park are also great urban options. Tong further recommended Badaling National Forest Park and Baiwangshan Forest Park in Haidian district as alternative options for leaf viewing. The Hexie Hao bullet train runs from Beijing North Station in Xizhimen to Badaling within one hour.
In order to bring the cheer of fall foliage closer to the city, the Beijing landscape bureau launched the Colorful Leaves Project in 2001. "We want local people to enjoy the foliage scenery at every hill, not just Fragrant Hills," said Tong.
"Beijing used to be a forest city before it became the capital," Tong noted. "It was not until the Olympics that the city decided to enforce reforestation." Tong pegged tree coverage in Beijing at 36.7 percent, but said the effects of reforestation will take time to notice, as some trees will take up to 20 years to grow big.
Initial project results have seen 23,333 hectares of land planted with deciduous trees. The Beijing section of the Beijing-Shenyang Highway in Tongzhou is nicknamed "the rainbow boulevard" for the variety of colors displayed by assorted tree species along the route.
|Previous article: Green Chongming Island, Shanghai|
|Next article: New dawn for Hongkou hotel|