The view from the treetops

Singapore's stunning super forest takes shape

Towering above the city, these trees as tall as skyscrapers are beginning to take shape. The man-made structures are part of an artificial woodland stretching 50 metres into the sky - soon to be one of Singapore's newest tourist attractions.

As the opening date draws near for the city's Gardens By The Bay, two new permanent features have been added to the skyway attraction in time for its launch date of June 29. Visitors will be able to take in a panoramic view of the gardens via an aerial walkway, dubbed the OCBC Skyway, which is set against the backdrop of Marina Bay.

Walkway in the heavens: The aerial bridge suspended high in the 'tree' tops offer panoramic views of the surrounding area

The walkway is suspended 22 metres above the ground - about seven storeys high - and links two Supertrees that reach 42-metres into the sky. The opening programme of the gardens will also feature the second attraction - a dramatic OCBC Light and Sound Show, which is due to be unveiled on July 2. Featuring multimedia special effects, the show will run every night.

The imposing trees have colossal concrete trunks weighing hundreds of tonnes. While thousands of thick wire rods have been used to create artificial branches and canopies. The incredible installation was created as a national landmark as the island looks to create a vast green space in its Marina South district that will become the 'botanical capital of the world'.

But the towering super-trees will be hard to miss for the thousands of people expected to descend on the recreation area. Each Super-tree will have added to it a canopy weighing around 20 to 85 tonnes, which is hoisted into place over three to four hours by a hydraulic-jack system.

Steel frames are then added onto the sides to represent the dark bark of natural woodland. Environmental experts have even been drafted in to add solar panels to seven of the trees. The energy will then be used to light the areas below.

The entire structure will house a cluster of green conservatories when it is completed. Inside the trees there will be plants from around the world. The park will also become home to the Singapore Garden Festival.

Hanging gardens and rainwater catches will be added to the trees and a 22 metre high walkway will be made between two of the canopies allowing guests to take in a view of the scenery. The Gardens at Marina South is one of three waterfront garden projects under the massive Gardens by the Bay initiative, with the other two in Marina East and Marina Center.

Leaders want to create a continuous ring of greenery, with the three gardens wrapping around the Marina Bay area. 'They have to be lightweight, they have to be maintainable and hardy, and a great amount of effort has gone into looking for plants that can actually be sustained on this living skin,' Kenneth Er from Gardens by the Bay told Channel News Asia.

© Daily Mail, London

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