A while ago I received an email with a few photos. The photos were of signs sticky-taped to a tree in Camperdown Memorial Rest Park.
The first sign said that Marrickville Council intended to remove this tree & asked people to contact the Council requesting that Council do not chop it down.
Taped over this sign was another saying that the tree had been saved with a photocopy of an email from Marrickville Council saying that they were pleased to say they would not be removing the tree.
Last October 2011 Marrickville Council put out to community consultation their concept plan for Camperdown Memorial Rest Park – tree removal & tree planting, plus some other improvements. See –
I did not see in Council’s concept plan anything about removing this tree. However, I did think it was at risk of removal when I walked through the park with the concept plans because of where it is situated. The tree sits inward & does not follow the line of trees around the perimeter.
Having seen Council remove a healthy Tulip tree in nearby Enmore Park simply because it did not match their design, I was not at all surprised to learn that this tree in Camperdown Memorial Rest Park was also on the chop list.
This tree was not listed on Council’s website as up for removal either. However, this is not unusual as Council does remove public trees without notifying the community.
The tree is a Bauhinia & comes from China. It is the official emblem of Hong Kong. It is also called the Hong Kong Orchid tree. Colloquially it is called the Sheep’s Foot tree because of the cloven hoof shape of the leaves.
This evergreen tree can reach 7-metres (23-feet) tall though the one in Camperdown Memorial Rest Park would be around 3-4 metres tall. From September to October it is festooned with large pink orchid-like flowers. It also flowers sporadically from February to September making this one very beautiful tree. There are hundreds of varieties of Bauhinia, all with 2-lobbed leaves & orchid-like flowers.
So to the wonderful person who found out about its impending removal & started the campaign to save this tree, thank you. To those in the community who responded by sending Council a submission email, thank you as well. Without your intervention & lobbying to save this tree it was likely to be chopped down, assumedly for purposes of symmetry & design.