- Specie: Sweet Gum (liquidambar formosa 楓香)
- Location: Tai Po Kau Nature Trail
I was fortunate enough to get a chance to hike the Tai Po Kau Nature Trail in December and was treated to a row of Sweet Gums displaying their golden fall colours.
The trees greet visitors as soon as they enter the park area and escorts them up the hill to the start of the Nature Trail.
Sweet Gums are native deciduous trees and it clearly shows in the age of this mature members. They are tall and extend high above the surrounding canopy.
The trees get a part of their scientific name from the Latin words ‘liquid’ and ‘amber’, which aptly describe the colour of the leaves just before they fall to the ground. The second part of their name is ‘formosa,’ which also aptly means ‘beautiful one’s in the native tongue of Taiwan.
It is also well worth noting that the Tai Po Kau Nature Trail is a great adventure to try out. The trail offers 4 different trails with different degrees of difficulty and length. We did the Blue Trail, which was 4 kilometres long and meander into the lower forest along a winding stream. With the great December whether in Hong Kong, it was a really pleasant way to spend the day.
There is also the easier Red (2km), and the more challenging Brown (7km) and Yellow (10km) trails that take hikers up into the surrounding hills.