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Researchers at Multnomah County Health Department, Drexel University & the National Institute of Standards & Technology have just published research in the journal Health & Place that found….. “Pregnant women living in houses (in Portland US) graced by more trees were significantly less likely to deliver undersized babies.”
Isn’t this amazing! Seems the presence of trees makes women feel less stressed & less stress results in fewer deliveries of undersized babies.
There is a ‘however’ though. The results haven’t been replicated & there are a few variables that may have impacted on this research. Regardless, combined with other recent research that showed less crime, less dumping, less graffiti & less physical & mental health problems in both children & adults, this research should make municipal councils & health authorities look more closely about increasing the street tree coverage.
Portland intends to increase its already high percentage of tree canopy by adding another 33% in 2011 & they intended to do this before this current research was published. I consider this city to be a great role model for the rest of the world. If it’s about street trees, stormwater management or lessening the Heat Island Effect, Portland seems to be grasping the problem by the horns & setting an example of what can be done. They also have huge volunteer involvement by the community. This is also to be applauded.
The University of Tasmania have just completed a 3 year nation-wide study as to why some people prefer a leafy front garden while others don’t. Interestingly, tertiary educated people preferred trees & the higher the income, the more trees. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/03/2888948.htm
An unusual story of public tree removal in Newport: The Cumberland Courier reported that an unspecified number of trees & scrub has been removed from Barenjoey Road by Pittwater Council. Residents requested the trees be removed saying the trees were not native & removing them would open up the area to ocean views from North Newport. http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/trees-removed-barrenjoey-views-restored/
Pittwater Council’s Natural Environment Reference Group has submitted a plan to have all new DAs required to maintain wildlife corridors across their land. This would also include retaining dead trees, as these are especially important for providing homes for a variety of wildlife. The new plan specifically targets the protection of Green-&-Gold Bell Frogs, Swift Parrots, Squirrel Gliders, Southern Brown Bandicoots & (would you believe they are even there) Koalas. Any DA will also be required to plant more trees & wildlife sustaining landscaping. http://manly-daily.whereilive.com.au/news/story/protection-plan-for-endangered-animals/
Mid April 2010 North Sydney Council decided to explore the idea of replanting garden beds in parks & reserves with vegetables. http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/councillors-dig-vegie-patch-idea/
North Sydney Council stopped mowing verges early 2009, but after complaints from residents, they will now do a one-off mow at the cost of $58,000. They also intend to reinstate verge mowing by the end of 2010.
Just as an aside, I was told Marrickville Council spends about $2 million per year mowing our verges. Makes me wonder what that that money could be used for if we just mowed our own & our neighbours if they didn’t have a mower. $2 million could repair the Coptic Church in Sydenham for history’s sake & for community use or it could buy a lot of street & park trees amongst many other things. I saw a sign in Catherine Street Leichhardt yesterday that read something like – ’2.3 million dollar footpath upgrade.’ Or we could just grow veggie or flower gardens on our verges. http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/nature-strips-to-be-mowed-soon/
Energy Australia has angered the community once again by ‘butchering’ 2 large trees in Allambie Heights shopping centre. http://manly-daily.whereilive.com.au/news/story/locals-angry-over-allambie-tree-butchery/
An 18 metre high Port Jackson Fig tree with a canopy spreading about 15 metres listed on the Significant Tree Register of City of Sydney Council was removed last month due to extensive rot. It was part of a row of Figs in Joynton Aveneue Zetland. The lost tree will be replaced by a mature Port Jackson Fig. http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/urgent-removal-of-fig-tree-in-zetland/
City of Sydney Council has joined with Marrickville Council in formally opposing the M5 extension that will go through Tempe Reserve, over Tempe Wetlands & terminate at Euston Road at Sydney Park. Terrific news. http://sydney-central.whereilive.com.au/news/story/sydney-council-formally-opposes-m5-extension/
It will be interesting to learn how the trial at removing smog in the M5 during March went. http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/m5-pollution-trial/
A home up for sale in the Brisbane suburb of Mackenzie incurred $20,000 damage after the front garden was excavated & 10 Palm trees stripped down by unknown workers who fled when people came to watch. It is thought they were working on the wrong property. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/7685319/Australian-workmen-dig-up-wrong-garden.html
Finishing the ongoing story about the trees in the carpark of Walmart in Henderson Tennessee that were savagely pruned recently, Walmart have been ordered to replace 100 of the Elm trees. This will cost them around US$25,000. http://www.wkrn.com/Global/story.asp?S=12213247