Marrickville Council intends to remove 1 Chinese hackberry (Celtis sinensis) outside 3 Calvert Street Marrickville.
Council gives the following reasons for removal:
- Root growth from the tree has apparently caused fence damage on private property.
- The species is considered a potential environmental weed.
Council say they will replace the tree with a Queensland brush box (Lophostemon confertus) though they don’t say when they will do this.
I went to visit this tree today. First impressions were this is a beautiful tree planted in a lovely garden bed making this little area of Calvert Street look very nice. It is the only large tree in the street.
I was sad to see that Council’s Notice of Removal signs were nailed into the tree. I had thought Marrickville Council had ceased this practice as they have been securing signs to trees with sticky tape for the last few months. I did notice that the trees in Toothill Street & Park Road also had their tree removal signs nailed, but as it was a given that these trees would be removed, I made no mention. I am very disappointed that this practice has become the norm, as once again Council is sending a clear message to the community not to bother sending in a submission.
Council has excavated the footpath exposing a large root that travels underneath the brick front fence of the property. No other roots enter the property.
The damage to the brick fence appears to be caused by the tree root, but the damage is restricted to one pillar on a 8-10 meter brick fence. As is common with pillars regardless of whether there are trees nearby, the pillar has sustained a medium sized crack, which threatens to disconnect it from the remaining fence.
I always take a man experienced in building with me where the tree is said to have caused structural damage. His advice was the fence pillar is unlikely to fall in the near future without some other causative factor like a car crashing into it. He said the fence could be easily repaired by filling the crack with cement & giving it a splash of paint. He said it they were really scared that the pillar might fall, they could fit a connector bolt to secure the pillar to the main fence.
I do not believe the damage is sufficient to warrant the removal of this beautiful street tree & will be putting in a submission asking Marrickville Council to repair the footpath, but deny the request to have the tree removed.
The tree is mature & healthy. I don’t care that Marrickville Council regards it as a potential environmental weed. They also think Camphor laurel trees are environmental weeds, but City of Sydney Council has retained them as street trees in many places across their LGA such as Glebe Point Road, while Marrickville Council removes them.
Calvert Street is one of those streets that has very little green & almost no tree canopy. This tree is important to the local community for the visual beauty & for maintaining property values. It also cleans up pollution from the large volume of traffic that drive through this street every day.
It would take many years for a street tree in these conditions to grow to this size. We as a community need to keep all the trees we can.
Chinese hackberry is said to compete with native flora & is therefore detrimental to the local environment. However, there is no native environment nearby. Much of what surrounds this tree is cement, buildings & bitumen.
City of Sydney Council protects Chinese hackberry trees if they are 10 metres tall or more.
I would only support this tree’s removal if Marrickville Council plants more good-sized street trees along Calvert Street & only at a time when those trees have grown to a decent size. If this tree is removed now, it will denude the street of its greenery & have a negative impact on property values. If it were happening on my street, I would be doing what I could to save this tree because of the impact its removal will have on my property value & the health of my family, especially if the tree was close to my house.
I know properties are going for high prices in Marrickville even if they are imbedded in cement, but ask any real estate agent whether a house is likely to go for a higher price if there is a good looking street tree out front & they will say yes. The difference in what a property can sell for is significantly higher. If people realised this, they would never allow street trees to be removed or be butchered by energy companies.
As is always the case, if mine is the only submission, the tree will likely go. I ask that you please send a submission to Marrickville Council. You don’t need to live near the tree to be allowed to do this. The trees across the LGA belong to all of us & they benefit all of us. I need others who care about street trees to help by sending in submissions even if the tree is not in their area.
I am happy to send you a draft if this will make it easier. You can change it as you see fit or just sign & e-mail it to Council. The deadline for submissions is Monday 9th August 2010. Thank you. J