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Marrickville Council has given notice that they intend to remove a Broad-leaved Paperbark (Melaleuca quinquenervia) outside 102 Chelmsford Street Newtown.
They give the following reason -
- “Tree is causing damage to private property, obscuring safe footpath access & continuously damaging infrastructure.”
They say they will replace with a Snow in Summer (Melaleuca linarifolia) during 2013 planting season.
I appreciate that Council used sticky tape instead of nails to fix the notification of removal sign to this tree.
Interestingly, this tree is not included in the proposed for removal list in the recent street tree audit.
The bottom bricks of the fence have shifted a little. Other than this, we could not see any other visible damage – though there may be.
It is clearly the wrong tree in the wrong place. There are other Melaleucas in the area so be prepared for them to be removed as well. Newtown is well known for its quirkiness & the people who live here appear to like different & unusual things. I lived in Balmain for more than a decade & saw street trees that obstructed the footpath. No one cared. They just walked around the tree.
I can think of many reasons why this healthy street tree should stay. Unfortunately this tree is inconveniencing people & therefore it will go. If the local community want to try to save this tree, then they will.
Submissions can be sent to Marrickville Council at - firstname.lastname@example.org
Marrickville Council has removed a Gum tree (Eucalyptus species) at Matt Hogan Reserve (Camden Street frontage) Newtown.
Council said they, “regretfully identified the need to remove the public tree” giving the following reasons for removal –
- “The tree had terminally declined & had been assessed to be a dead tree.
- Large dead branches had commenced failing from the upper canopy.
- The tree presented an unacceptable risk to the public & children’s playground.
- As a result of the hazardous nature of this tree, priority removal works have been completed.”
Council say they intend to replace the street tree during 2013 planting season, but do not say what species of tree they will be planting.
A Development Application to build 206 residential units with 158 car parking spaces & 6 retail shops at 32-72 Alice Street Newtown is currently on exhibition on Marrickville Council’s website. I write about this DA because the developer wants to remove 45 out of 56 trees. 8 of these are street trees, including a row of Jacarandas. At the start of the report it says they plan to remove 45 trees. In the conclusion this changes to 43 trees to be removed. My count was 45 trees.
The tree species to be removed are Brush Box, Jacaranda, Coral tree, Native Daphne, Lilly Pilly, Eucalypt species, Tasmanian Blue Gum, Wallangarra White Gum, Scotch Elm, Port Jackson Fig, Broad-leafed Paperbark, Scribbly Gum, Native Frangipani & Evergreen Alder.
Any tree that is to be removed is to be ‘replaced with new plantings as per landscape plan.’ The new drawing plans show 3 larger size trees & 4 smaller trees within the property.
Of the 11 street trees on Alice Street deemed suitable to retain, the report says that if movement occurs within any Structural Root Zones, “immediate removal is strongly recommended to avoid potential collapse.” It will be interesting to see if these trees do last the distance.
We went to have a look at the site. Most of the trees are mature & the loss of 45 trees will have a major negative impact on the streetscape of the area. The DA assesses only 16 of the trees as in good condition, the rest were assessed as in poor or fair condition. The trees look like many of the street trees across Marrickville LGA.
Most of the trees are growing around the perimeter of the property. If the developer moved the buildings back 5-metres, the vast majority of trees on the property could be saved. A unit block across the road on Alice Street has been set back 5-metres, so why not a requirement to do the same here?
A narrow streetscape might have been suitable 100-years ago, but Newtown has become so busy that any new such development should not be allowed to build on the outer boundary lines. According to the DA, current commercial zoning requires zero set-back from the street frontage. This point confuses me because the development will be mostly for housing, so the commercial zoning will have to change – won’t it?
Building 5-metres inside the boundary line improves the streetscape immensely & positively changes the whole utility of a more open streetscape, avoids oppressive shadows on other properties, ensures more trees are saved & gives an opportunity for a garden outlook to the whole street. It is time that every development gets pushed back in narrow inner city streets. The developer would not be losing much because they are gaining height that they never had before. Housing units with a greener outlook are likely to sell for higher prices anyway.
The incremental mature tree loss across Marrickville LGA is a serious issue & will continue to be so, especially with so much development being planned.
Also of interest; the developer is asking for a Floor Space Ratio of 2.33:1 meaning that they want to over-develop the land according to Marrickville Council’s development standard of a Floor Space Ratio of 1.85:1 set out in the Marrickville LEP2011.
The developer says the public domain will be enhanced by the proposal, “particularly through the provision of a new footpath along the northern side of Alice Lane.” They also say, “it is imperative that the site be put to as efficient a use as possible & the proposal …. will result in no significant adverse environmental impacts.”
You can view the documents of the DA here – http://bit.ly/N7Ofl2
The deadline for submissions is Thursday 12th July 2012.
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 – http://bit.ly/KkeCSn
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.
As part of the ongoing lobbying by community group The Phillip & Gladstone Street Pride Group, Marrickville Council has agreed to plant up to 10 street trees in the places along Phillip Street where there is room for a street tree. There is a proviso though – Council wants the residents whose house each tree will be planted outside to give their written consent.
If the residents of 10 houses agree, the street will get 10 street trees. If 6 residents say no, then 6 spaces will be left empty.
I had two reactions when I heard this. I thought it was great that Council will be planting more street trees in an area that needs it. Then I wondered why Council was stipulating that the residents needed to give their permission for new street trees to be planted.
I’ve not heard of such an action by Council before. By doing this Council are, in my opinion, allowing an individual’s preference to come ahead of the collective interest in space that is owned by Council.
I understand that some people don’t want trees or even a garden on their property, but to be given the choice whether to have a street tree on public land means they have an inordinate impact on all of their neighbours & ultimately the whole community. It is equal to allowing residents to remove existing trees that they don’t like without any penalty.
Why is this location treated differently where Council has a general tree-planting program that does not involve taking each individual’s opinions into account?
Last September Marrickville Council planted 8 Water gums & 4 Firewheel trees in Gladstone Street Newtown in response to lobbying by local residents who were desperate to green the area. See – http://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/the-phillip-gladstone-street-pride-group/
The residents did something highly unusual by setting up the Gladstone & Phillip Street Pride Group to clean up these streets, remove tagging, plant verge gardens & do whatever they can to make this section of Newtown look nice. They even got the active support of local business.
What is happening here is really admirable in my opinion, so when I received an email saying 2 of the Firewheel trees had been snapped in half & then another the next day saying a Golden robinia had also met the same fate I felt a mixture of irritation & sadness for the residents who are working so hard to improve the area for everyone’s benefit.
Maybe someone unconnected to the neighbourhood vandalised the trees. Perhaps it was a local resident who does not want street trees, even though 2 of the trees are in a section that is non-residential. Will we ever know why people destroy trees or gardens in public spaces? It’s a question I get asked often enough & one I haven’t been able to really answer.
I did a Google search to see if there is anything that gives a hint as to why people vandalise public trees. Unfortunately I couldn’t find an academic article, but the ideas from community forums were quite interesting & give food for thought. I list them in point form –
- a need for power
- releasing anger
- a vendetta
- inner anger
- impulsive behavior
- practical joking
- to show off
- acting tough
- mischief making
- loser adults
- a lack of respect
- envy & jealousy
- unhappy with their own lives
- emotionally stunted
- to say, “I am here. I exist!”
- problem with authority
- to cheapen the area,
- to get an adrenaline rush
- an urge for change
- to get the girl (!!!)
- have nothing of value of their own
- never taught to respect other people’s property
- have no respect for anything
- no sense of responsibility
- a way to hurt your competitors
- don’t think of the consequences
- amused at the thought of their victims reactions
- not caring about their fellow man
- wanting to destroy anything in their path
- they think it makes them cool
- their friends dared them to do it
- the need to make their mark wherever & whenever
- feel everyone owes them something
- the illusion of ownership. “What I can damage, I own.”
- to cost the community or an individual lots of money
- anything that’s defenseless can be vandalised
- same reason dogs pee on trees.
So there you go. I hope Marrickville Council help the Phillip & Gladstone Street Pride Group by planting replacement trees as soon as possible. This community group are watering the street trees so there will be no need for Council to wait until tree planting season.
And to the residents, keep at it & don’t let such destructive behaviour stop you all from creating the environment that you want. Hopefully speaking openly about it with everyone who will listen will get the word around that destroying the community’s hard work is not cool. A few signs may also help.
Here is a 1-minute video taken 12 months ago that will help you see why the residents are trying to green up the area – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mb6VFe4LtSY
Marrickville Council has said they intend to remove 2 public trees from Camperdown Memorial Rest Park in Newtown.
Tree number 1:
A Lombardy Poplar (Populus nigra ‘italica’) from the western frontage of St Stephens Cemetery. Council gives the following reasons for removal –
- “Advanced root crown decay
- Previous branch failures
- Internal decay symptoms within the trunk
- Overall poor health & vigour.”
They say that park improvement plantings of 15 new trees will compensate proposed removal.
We went to visit both trees. This Poplar is almost dead & looking very thin on leaves. It & another Poplar a few metres away are where Council plans to plant a row of 17 Eucalyptus maculata trees. I will not be putting in a submission.
Tree number 2:
A Mugga Ironbark (Eucalyptus sideroxylon) at Camperdown Memorial Rest Park, south from Northwood Street. Council gives the following reasons for removal –
- “The tree has been assessed to be a dead tree
- Necrotic foliage & borer damage visible with low level of kino production.” (Gum trees produce a red substance called kino as a natural defence against borers. A healthy tree will try to drown boring insects by producing kino. Insufficient kino production, usually caused when a tree is under stress, allows the borers to enter the tree & destroy it.)
- “Hazardous tree to frequent park users.”
Council says they will replace with “2 medium-sized canopy trees to encourage stand diversity.” Council’s Landscape Architect will decide what species of tree will be planted. They don’t say when the replacement trees will be planted.
This tree is dead. I thank Council for using sticky tape instead of nails to attach the Notification of Removal signs to both trees.
Last October 2011 we discovered that Council had already removed 2 trees from this section of the park prior to community consultation for the Concept Plan. See – http://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2011/10/17/camperdown-memorial-rest-park-concept-plan/
That they will have removed 3 fairly large trees in this cluster of trees & will only be replacing this tree loss with 2 trees of a medium-sized canopy is a problem to my mind.
There is a large area of woodchip garden in front & another surrounding this tree. I believe that Council should be increasing the canopy by planting more than 2 trees or at the very least they should be matching the tree removal by planting 3 trees in this location. That they will be planting 17 trees in another area of the park does not take away from the fact that this is a large park of mostly grass that can easily sustain many more trees.
I will write this as a request in a short submission. The deadline for submissions for both trees is Monday 12th March 2012.
In February 2011 I wrote that I had been contacted by residents who nominated Phillip & Gladstone Streets Newtown as being an area that was hot & barren, used as a place for dumping unwanted household goods & in desperate need of street trees. It was exactly as they described. I wrote, See – http://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/desperately-needing-street-trees/
Residents had been in communication with Marrickville Council asking Council to plant street trees in this area. At first Council said they did not have the funds to put street trees in this location. However, after some meetings, & I presume seeing the location & how keen the community were, Council decided they would remove some concrete from the footpath & plant 4 African Tulip trees (Spathodea tulipera) & 8 Water gums – a total of 12 trees. Needless to say the community were ecstatic. I wrote about this here – http://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2011/05/14/street-tree-win-for-newtown-residents/
I made a 1-minute video of this area last February 2011 before the street trees were planted - http://bit.ly/ymnapV
In September 2011 concrete was removed, the tree pits were dug & new street trees were planted along both sides of Gladstone Street. However, instead of the planned 4 African Tulip trees, Council planted 4 Firewheel trees.
At some time before the street trees were planted 2 residents decided to see if other local residents would be interested in meeting to discuss how to green the area & make it more livable & visually appealing. They took the plunge by doing a letterbox drop inviting residents of Phillip Street to the first meeting. Much to their delight 20 people turned up. 7 meetings later & the original members are still involved, plus others who come on occasions. Isn’t this wonderful.
They decided to call themselves ‘The Phillip & Gladstone Street Pride Group.’ They meet once a month, discuss ideas, report on progress with Marrickville Council, share news & spend some time cleaning the street of litter, weeding & watering around street trees & planting these areas with small plants & flowers.
The group has also spoken with a local business on Gladstone Street that has a stretch of garden bed next to the footpath. The business has allowed the group to do what they like with this garden bed, so a couple of Jacaranda trees have been planted in the empty space between 2 other trees. A mass of weeds was removed & the bed is in the process of being planted out with a variety of small plants. Both the business & the residents are winners here.
Forming this community group has brought the local community together & other local residents have asked for the group’s help in getting more street trees in their section of the street. People who did not know each other before do so now. The street is friendlier & helpful to each other & residents are learning how to propagate plants to keep costs down. While we were in Gladstone Street another member of The Phillip & Gladstone Street Pride Group returned home from the train & joined us.
Alfalfa House (also known as the Enmore Co-op) at the corner of Enmore Road & Phillip Street are also supportive of this community initiative. They decided to have the graffiti removed from their side wall by painting a very nice colourful mural which the locals think has improved the streetscape immensely. Eventually, the areas around the street trees outside the Co-op will also be planted out.
The Enmore Theatre is contributing by looking at ways to try to manage the litter that is dropped by theatre goers as this often ends up in Phillip Street. I think it is wonderful that local businesses have become involved & are supportive of the group’s ambition to beautify this area.
What was also interesting was that there was no dumped goods on the street whereas 12-months ago this area was the place to take your unwanted mattress or TV set.
One disappointment has been the removal of a number of Casuarina trees located between the back of the power station & the railway line. These trees were on Railcorp land & provided a block of green on the skyline blocking out the view of passing trains & significantly reducing the noise. Railcorp have said that these trees will be replaced.
So what started as residents’ frustration at the barrenness & ugliness of Gladstone Street has now developed into a strong friendly group that is bringing both residents & local business together to make this area a much nicer place to live on a number of levels.
Marrickville Council have been very supportive of this initiative & had a couple of onsite meetings with the residents discussing options for street work that Council will approve. Council has also offered to bring mulch to the street for the residents to use on their verge gardens.
I feel happy to be able to write about this positive outcome arising from community lobbying Marrickville Council & that they did plant much needed street trees in Gladstone Street. Council can be sure that these trees will be watered & cared for as they are already very much loved.
I am also happy to write that The Phillip & Gladstone Street Pride Group feel supported by Marrickville Council. This is such an important thing as they know that the work they do to beautify the streetscape will not be removed & they have been able to work with local businesses with confidence that any new initiative along the same lines will be supported by Council.
Local residents should not fear setting up a community group in their street because Marrickville Council have demonstrated that they are willing to assist, provide advice & help as needed. Hopefully in time, more of these community groups will be established. When people have pride in their area, there is more happiness & community cohesion. Greening an area also has tremendous benefits on mental, physical & spiritual health of which I have written about on many occasions.
Well done to The Phillip & Gladstone Street Pride Group & to Marrickville Council.
Marrickville Council says they intend to remove a Lemon Scented Gum (Corymbia citriodora) from 43 Reiby Street. The tree is located on Sloan Street Newtown. Council gives the following reasons for removal -
- An independent arborist audit has identified a major wound & decay at the co-dominant trunk union. This presents as an unacceptable hazard to public & property.
Council says they will replace this tree with a Firewheel Tree (Stenocarpus sinuatus) as part of the 2012 street tree-planting program.
The air of Sloan Street was filled with the perfume of the many Lemon Scented Gums that line this street when I visited. Frankly, it was so wonderful it took me by surprise. I hung around for a while just to breath in the smell of nature, rather than the usual city smells. There were also lots of birds.
The tree up for removal has on old, but severe wound at the top of its trunk & is obviously a risk of splitting in two given the right conditions. While I agree it should be removed, I question why Council wants to replace it with a Firewheel tree. I tend to think that uniformity in streetscapes or blocks within a street if it is a long street, makes for a better-looking streetscape. The planting of this species here, that species there can look a bit haphazard. Because Sloan Street has a number of Lemon Scented gums along one side of the street, I would rather Council replace with another Lemon Scented gum tree. There is obviously the room for one & there are no overhead cables on this side of the street. These tall trees are visible from areas in the surrounding streets & provide a theme for the street as well as a wonderful perfume.
I will be writing a submission only to request that Council replaces with a Lemon Scented gum rather than the planned replacement of a Firewheel tree. The deadline for submissions for all the above trees closes on Tuesday 13th December 2011.