Much of Urban Hong Kong is poor in environmental quality and lacking in amenity vegetation. The quality of life in the city can be improved by providing for more trees as well as reducing atmospheric pollution. The many benefits and functions of greenery in an urban setting, including those on aesthetics, psychological development of children, mental health and amelioration of climatic extremes and air pollution, are discussed in the local context. The problems of tree planting, growth and care, particularly the grave shortage of growing space, the stressful subaerial and subterranean environment, the physical abuses due to man and the lack of arboricultural care are elaborated. Copyright © 1987 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.