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Last February 2011 I posted about receiving an email from Newtown residents nominating Gladstone & Phillips Streets for street tree planting saying – “This is a barren, treeless area with a great deal of bitumen/cement paving that is very hot in summer & attracts the dumping of rubbish by passers by. This street also attracts a great deal of rubbish dumping due to the barren, commercial nature of the area. For some reason this rubbish is not picked up or reported to council & as such can lie around for weeks on end. We suspect this may be linked to the lack of residential pride in the street & feel this could be improved by planting trees &/or providing landscaping.”
When I went to have a look, I could not see why trees had been left out of the landscape, as there was plenty of room. The area was barren, windy & grey. I could well imagine how hot it was in summer.
Disappointingly for the residents, Marrickville Council said they did not have the money to dig tree pits therefore, no street trees would be planted in this area.
I am happy to report that Marrickville Council have changed their mind & have decided to remove some of the concrete, dig 12 tree pits & plant 12 street trees here in the upcoming Spring planting season. Needless to say the local community are ecstatic & I love to post a good news story. I thank Marrickville Council for listening to the community & for deciding to plant street trees in this location. They are badly needed.
8 Water gums will be planted along Gladstone Street in front of the Rail Corp Building & 4 Spathodea tulipera on the opposite side of the street.
The Water gum (Tristaniopsis laurina) an Australian native is not a Eucalypt despite its name. This tree likes moisture & is found alongside creeks & rivers. It has deep green leaves & produces clusters of small yellow flowers over the summer months. These are used extensively as street trees across Marrickville LGA, probably because they tolerate poorly drained soils & although they can reach a height of 6-10 metres (19-32 feet), they rarely do. At least I haven’t seen one of this size. The Water gum provides food for the Blue Triangle butterfly which is common across Sydney.
Spathodea is known as the African Tulip tree. It is an evergreen tree that hails from the rainforests of Africa so it too likes moisture. It has a domed crown, dark green leaves & large bell-shaped flowers. I could not find any information on the genus Spathodea tulipera, only Spathodea campanulata so I suspect these are one & the same as it too is described as an African Tulip tree. This tree grows to 8-10 metres (26-32 feet) in cultivation. The tulip-shaped flowers bloom in Spring & are yellow with bright orange bands. The flowers produce water providing something to drink for birds & flying-foxes. Excellent. Bees like the water as well. Sometimes they drown leaving a handy snack for birds. The tree disperses its seeds when it is windy & can become invasive. They will look fantastic & bring much-needed colour to these street that is mostly concrete & bitumen with the only colour coming from dumped garbage & a graffiti wall. It is Magnolia-like in appearance.
I plan to document the growth of these trees over time so will post about them at a later date. You can watch a 1-minute YouTube video of this area as it is now - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mb6VFe4LtSY
I last wrote about this issue here – http://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/desperately-needing-street-trees/
A couple of days ago I received an email from some residents of Newtown. The following is part of their email -
“We would like to nominate a site for tree planting – the intersection of Phillip & Gladstone Streets Newtown (just down from Enmore Theatre), in particular in front of the Newtown Railcorp substation.
This is a barren, treeless area with a great deal of bitumen/cement paving that is very hot in summer & attracts the dumping of rubbish by passers by. This area extends along Gladstone Street towards the Wheat silos where there are several commercial premises, most notably Ausscrap.
This street also attracts a great deal of rubbish dumping due to the barren, commercial nature of the area. For some reason this rubbish is not picked up or reported to council & as such can lie around for weeks on end. We suspect this may be linked to the lack of residential pride in the street & feel this could be improved by planting trees &/or providing landscaping.”
I know this area & went to have a closer look. There is a small number of street trees, but they are small stature trees & not likely to grow much bigger. They certainly do not produce much shade.
There are long stretches on both sides of Gladstone Street without any greenery street or trees. As there is not much room on the footpath, perhaps trees can be planted on the sides of the road? The road is certainly wide enough to accommodate this. There are no overhead powerlines so taller-growing trees with a decent sized canopy could be planted. Phillip Street also has plenty of places for street trees.
This is a busy area with lots of through traffic & a train line at the end of the block. The noise from vehicles & passing trains is quite considerable. Street trees would help buffer the noise & also collect particulate matter from the vehicles, lowering local air pollution.
There was quite a bit of dumped rubbish scattered around, including mattresses. Recent research has connected a high rate of dumping with a lack of street trees. People start to care less about the environment when it lacks trees & landscaping. The more natural beauty in an area, the more people look after it & feel pride in their environment.
Marrickville Council, I ask that you seriously consider planting street trees in this area for the benefit of the residents & the workers. It looks neglected compared to the other ends of both streets.
You can watch a 1-minute YouTube video of this area here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mb6VFe4LtSY
If you would like to nominate a site in Marrickville LGA that you think could benefit from some trees, just send me an email with the area details. savingourtrees (at) gmail.com