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Marrickville Council has given notice that they intend to remove a Scotch Elm (Ulmus glabra) in Weekley Park Stanmore.
They give the following reason for removal –
- “Independent consulting arborist carried out a Picus Sonic Tomograph test report, which found that the tree is structural compromised and at risk of failure. The tree presents as an unacceptable hazard to the public.”
Council says they will replace this tree with another Scotch Elm (Ulmus glabra) during the 2012-2013 replacement tree planting program.
The deadline for any submissions is Friday 13th July 2012.
It is not unexpected to lose this tree, as severe decay is visible in one major branch of this beautiful tree, which sits with its mate guarding one of the entry paths. It is great that Council will be replacing with another Scotch Elm tree, as this will maintain the look of Weekley Park. With an historic park as gorgeous as this one, it would be a shame to downgrade it by planting some of the more usual trees we see like Casuarinas.
Arborism 101: The Picus Sonic Tomograph “…. uses a set of sensors (up to 30) that are placed around the trunk at the height being tested. The sensors are evenly spaced around the trunk & are connected by wires to record the sound transmitted through the trunk. Each sensor has a corresponding metal pin that is inserted into the trunk & then tapped with a hammer to create sound waves that travel from the tapped pin to all the sensors. Each pin around the trunk is tapped in turn & the test continues until all pins have been tapped with the hammer. The number of pins used is dependent on the size & shape of the tree at the test point.
The sensors around the trunk quickly measure the velocity of the sound waves that pass through the wood. Any variations in sound velocity are detected & can be linked to wood quality because sound velocity is different in solid wood, decayed wood or cavities.”
For more information, plus photos of trees with their corresponding Picus Sonic Tomograph images, see – http://www.enspec.com/Equipment/Sonic-Tomograph
I found a 2009 TAFE paper that says, “Marrickville LGA is densely populated with 4,325 people per square kilometre & has the least amount of green space of any LGA in Australia.” This is an astounding statistic & with something like another 4,300 people going to live here as part of the last state government’s housing strategy, our green space will become even more important than it is now.
Some of our larger parks are classified ‘active parks,’ that is, parks that are primarily used for organized sporting activities. As such, some residents feel they cannot use the parks for much of the time. Therefore, ‘passive,’ parks with playgrounds, picnic or grassed areas become very important to the non-sporting association community.
Residents need both ‘active’ & ‘passive’ parks. Some like those along the Cooks River blend active & passive beautifully because of the size of the parks & access to the river. A number of our passive parks are beautiful & visiting them is worth a trip out. I will post about these over time.
A couple of weeks ago we visited Weekley Park. Almost everything about this grand old historical park is beautiful in my opinion. Located between Percival, Albany & Clarendon Roads Stanmore, Weekley Park is full of large, tall trees & is laid out in grid pattern with every path meeting in the centre where there is a circle of very tall Canary Island palm trees. 20-years ago there used to be prolific flowering red, pink & white roses in the raised central garden, but instead there is now a few Nandinas with empty garden beds. Some of the roses in other garden beds that connect with the central paths are still here so hopefully they will continue to be retained.
The Nandina look very ordinary & a bit scraggly in the centre feature garden that is supposed to bring the components of the park together. Perhaps one day when Council has the funds they might bring back the roses or plant something a bit more dramatic & beautiful that suits the park, though this is a matter of personal taste. Other people might like Nandina. They certainly sell at nurseries.
Weekley Park is very popular green space as evident by the many people sitting in the shade on benches, on the grass or watching their kids play in the playground. Lots of people, including adolescents, were in groups or alone reading. It was nice to see.
The park is also full of bird song & this coupled with the visual aspect of the many tall trees makes it quite a relaxing place. The playground equipment is new & there are toilets & drinking bubblers. You can take your kids for a while & have no need to rush home because someone needs to go to the loo.
There are 2 large trees towards the centre that look to me to be in trouble, maybe even dead. It’s hard for me to tell because it is still winter. They have large areas of decay, holes & dead areas in the branches. Actually, these holes would make fine homes for urban wildlife, but I doubt that the trees will be allowed to stay. I hope when they do come down that they are replaced with equally large growing trees so the feel of the park can be retained. The rest of the trees are in great health & there is a nice variety that all seems to come together well & give a stately look to the park.
There is a great piece of public art called ‘Tree People’ that was created by artist Graham Chalcroft & installed in June 2009 as part of Marrickville Council’s public art strategy. I like it a lot. It’s whimsical & also functional as it includes double-sided benches. Year 5 students from St Michael’s Catholic Primary School collaborated with the artist by drawing the animals that are ‘the guardians of the park.’ Council contracted public art is popping up around the LGA in public spaces, which is very nice.
One of the old Fig trees has the best aerial roots forming that I have seen in the LGA. It’s great that they have been left to grow & have not been chopped off. One day they will do what they are supposed to do & offer structural support to the branches when they grow larger.
If you like parks, then I think you will like Weekley Park. It is worth paying a visit & spending some time. Dogs need to be on a leash & there are free poo bags supplied & a bin on site. There are a few chess tables with bench seats, loads of park benches all facing good views of the park.
Council has recently planted quite a few new street trees on the verge that will also add beauty to the area. The intersection is a Box or Murraya hedge (I didn’t go close enough to see) & this too looks grand & lovely. Green intersections make any street look great in my opinion. All these things work unconsciously in the mind saying this is a nice area. One block away is the intersection almost everyone knows about. It is the hundreds of agapanthus & white roses at the roundabout at Salisbury Road & Northumberland Avenue. This was radical for the area in the mid 1980s & I remember a friend taking me from Balmain just to see it. It’s still there, though not in as good condition, but still giving a strong message that Stanmore is a nice area.
I imagine some would wonder why I go on about such basic things like intersections. I do so because the majority in Marrickville LGA are concrete or concrete patterned bricks. Any green landscaping that softens the hard infrastructure is a plus in my opinion. I strongly believe that landscaping makes an area nicer as do a sufficient number of good-looking street trees. Some suburbs in Marrickville LGA have this as a norm while others look bare & somewhat harsh in comparison. This has an impact on how our society feels about an area or even a whole suburb.
I have made a short YouTube video of Weekley Park here –
& the Salisbury Road intersection here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nn5aEkqJszY