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The Cooks River pathway further on from Mackey Park has 2 stunning avenues of Poplar trees. Poplars are also used to great effect in Steele Park further along the river.
These trees are very beautiful. They create significant areas of dappled shade in summer & lose their leaves in autumn letting in the winter light. The trunks of some of the bigger trees behind Mackey Park are around 3-4 metres. These are big substantial trees that are a landmark to this area & can be seen from many locations along the river.
In my opinion the presence of these trees makes this section of the Cooks River pathway in Marrickville South really lovely. When the wind is blowing the sound created as the wind passes through the leaves is very special.
These trees are being considered for the chopping block because there is belowground infrastructure here & because the soil is poor. I don’t know enough about the issues to present an argument at this stage. Just be aware that Council is thinking of removing them.
Unfortunately 1 of the smaller trees dropped a branch last November 2010. Borers had literally shredded the inside of the trunk until it was unable to maintain its weight & dropped. What is left is around 1.5 metres of remaining branch extending from the trunk. No one would know if the borers have travelled that far unless they removed the branch at the point where it connects to the trunk.
I don’t think Marrickville Council is going to bother to check this out as I was told the tree will be chopped down. If a tree has borers in its trunk it is dangerous because it will do exactly as the branch did & fall. However, there is a significant chance that the borers haven’t reached that far.
I put up a YouTube video of this tree when the branch & evidence of borers was still available to see. Unfortunately, I have deleted the video & Council has taken away the branch so I cannot re-film it. However, a Arborist did manage to see the video before it went to its grave & pointed out to me that it is quite likely that the trunk itself does not have borer infestation. He said checking is easy to do & chopping off the offending branch is far cheaper than chopping down a whole tree.
I would suggest that Marrickville Council does not want to bother doing this because they think many of the older trees need to be removed & because they are thinking about removing this avenue of trees in time anyway. With this plan, they wouldn’t try to save a tree even if it was a simple thing to do.
I firmly believe that we need to keep our older & larger trees. They are very valuable on many fronts. A Councillor recently said they are “a written asset, not a real asset”. I disagree. They a valuable asset. As an example of the dollar value of trees, the 14 Laman Street Figs in Newcastle were valued at 1 million dollars. In England & the US trees are valued, & basically, the older they get, the more they are worth. It’s time we stopped thinking of trees as expendable infrastructure & start doing whatever we can to care for them to ensure their longevity.
With climate change bearing down on us, I believe we cannot afford to remove the very things that all the experts believe are what will help mitigate global warming. Aside from the craziness of removing a healthy tree because it is not a native, these trees are beautiful. I have asked many people what they think of them over the last few weeks & everyone I have spoken with loves them. I am not alone then & I suspect the community may have something to say against their removal.
I would like Marrickville Council to leave these trees alone. I do not believe planting native trees here will be a better choice. I also think Council should check the branch to see if borers have reached the trunk. Of course if they have reached the trunk, the tree should go. However, in the past when trees were saved as a norm, the Tree Surgeon, as Arborists were known then, would scrape out the infestation providing it was small enough, then fill the hole with what I as a kid called tree cement. It’s not the correct term, but you get the idea. A number of the Pines at Brighton le Sands have had work like this done. Rockdale Council obviously thinks these trees are special. It all depends on the motivation of Marrickville Council. If they don’t want the tree, they will go for the easiest option & chop the tree down.
The UN has declared 2011 as the International Year of Forests. These trees are part of our urban forest.