They witnessed the rise and fall of an empire, they survived the ravages of war and they’ve stood tall as a colony gained independence and emerged on the world stage. And now, some of Singapore’s oldest residents – rain trees, saga trees and angsana trees – will be recognized as part of a National Parks Board heritage trail. The Civic District Tree Trail will open to the public on May 1, but you don’t have to wait until then to pay a visit. Here’s where you can find the prominent trees on the trail.
1. Connaught Drive
Connaught Drive is where you’ll find the Avenue of Heritage Trees. The Avenue is made up of 22 rain trees, some dating back to the 1880s.
2. Esplanade Park
Five angsana trees once grew in the area, giving it the nickname “gor zhang chiu kar” (“under the five trees” in Hokkien). While the original trees had to be cut down due to a disease outbreak in the 1990s, new disease-resistant angsanas were transplanted here in 2015.
3. National Gallery Singapore
Royal palms welcome visitors in front of the former City Hall.
4. St Andrew’s Cathedral
A rare sight in Singapore these days, saga trees and their unique red seeds can be found at St Andrew’s Cathedral.
5. Raffles Hotel
There are few symbols of Singapore more iconic than the traveller’s palms outside the Raffles.
The popular lifestyle venue is home to five species of heritage trees – Flame of the Forest, tamalan (or black rosewood), common red-stem fig, frangipani and Diospyros buxifolia (from the same family as ebony and persimmon)
7. National Museum of Singapore
A majestic Indian rubber tree has stood guard at the museum since 1955.
8. School of the Arts
It was under a Bodhi or sacred fig tree that Buddha is said to have achieved enlightenment. An example of the tree stands at SOTA.
National Parks Board
The Civic District Tree Trail opens to the public on May 1. It takes two hours to complete. Free tours will be available every month from May. For more information, head to the National Parks Board website.