An amazing thing has just happened in Sydney! Today’s MX newspaper reports on their front page that the City of Sydney Council is currently considering using Aerial Bundled Cabling, which will allow them to plant 10% more trees in the CBD.
Aerial Bundled Cabling is a process where the power lines are bundled into one insulated cable. This type of cabling is used when Councils want to pass power lines through the foliage of a tree without chopping away its branches.
Energy Australia states they need minimum of 1.5 metres between any part of the tree & the powerlines. Because they prune at the nearest growth point or collar, this mostly results in branches being lopped back more than the minimum required 1.5 metre clearance, often several feet away. Plus they often add an extra bit of trimming to account for expected growth until the next pruning, about 7 years. Often, the result is very ugly trees looking lob-sided or V-shaped. You can view examples of trees which have been severely cut back in “The Shame Page’ in the left-hand column of this site.
The City of Sydney Council say their plan to use Aerial Bundled Cabling & plant 10% more trees could cut summer temperature by up to 2 degrees & reduce greenhouse emissions because they would not be using chainsaws & clippers to cut back the city’s trees to allow the free passage of power cables. They plan to use Aerial Bundled Cabling across 268 spans & have identified 1700 spans that could also be converted to Aerial Bundled Cabling. The cost for this will be $250,000, which is not much for such as great improvement.
I am ecstatic about this news & believe it should be the norm. Many trees in this LGA stop at the height of the overhead powerlines. They look ugly & stunted. Taller trees, if they have been allowed to grow, often end up looking decimated. Marrickville Council has removed many tall trees and is planting short-stature ornamental fruit trees that capture less CO2 and do not produce any food for birds. My hope is that the City of Sydney Council go ahead with their plan. Sydney City trees, people, tourism, birds, animals & infrastructure will certainly benefit from this action & it is the only responsible thing to do in this age of climate change. We need good healthy, tall trees & we need to increase the tree canopy. Maybe our Council will follow their lead.