Three new trees close to the Princes Highway on the southern end of the park.

Three new trees close to the Princes Highway on the southern end of the park.

Three new trees closer to the traffic lights.

Three new trees closer to the traffic lights.

It’s wonderful to see that Marrickville Council has planted nine new trees along the Princes Highway at Kendrick Park. Two of the labels read Banksia serrata & Eucalyptus sideroxylon rosea.

Four mature trees were removed along the highway side of Kendrick Park in November 2013.  At the same time a mature Fig tree in the park failed & was removed as well.  So it is great to see replacement trees, especially along the highway where they can help lower pollution from the passing traffic, as well as buffer the noise & the wind.

I am especially pleased to see trees planted in the empty spaces near the traffic lights.

Two new trees close to the traffic light.  This has been a bare patch for as long as I can remember.

Two new trees close to the traffic light. This has been a bare patch for as long as I can remember.

Two new trees beside the house & still close to the Highway.

Two new trees beside the house & still close to the Highway.

Newly planted street tree in Sabastapol Street vandalised.

Newly planted street tree in Sabastapol Street vandalised.

Someone was determined to destroy this street tree in Newington Road.

Someone was determined to destroy this street tree in Newington Road.

A really good job.

A really good job.

Disappointing to see more tree vandalism happening in Marrickville, but great to see that Marrickville Council has put up a sign on a street tree in Sabastapol Street calling it for what it is – tree vandalism.

Another street tree has been vandalised in Newington Road.

There has been gradual vandalism of two street trees on Victoria Road Marrickville, opposite Calvert Street. I’ve watched with interest over the last year or so how these trees have had branches repeatedly snapped off.

Finally the tree vandal decided enough was enough. No more pretending & so one of the trees is totally destroyed. Unfortunately the other tree victim had managed to grow taller, so destroying this one would have been a bit harder.  Maybe it will be attacked next month.

Just across the road in Calvert Street is a fantastic example of a tree vandal armed with hand-saw. Every branch has been sawn off. I scraped the bark & the tree is very green & alive. Such a crying shame as a tree of 3-years has been destroyed.

Calvert Street itself has been an epicenter of tree vandalism much to the dismay of a number of residents. Council planted 23 street trees along Calvert Street in 2012, yet a number were destroyed within a few short months. Council again replanted. I will go & count the surviving trees soon. It will be interesting to see how many remain.

At $1,000 per street tree planting, tree vandalism is costly to the community. Destroying a street tree also robs the community of the beauty, amenity, shade, pollution uptake, oxygen & cooling effects the tree would have provided as it matured.

As far as I am concerned, every tree in Marrickville LGA impacts on my quality of life, as it does on the life of every other resident. A street tree does not have to be directly outside my house to improve my life. As I drive, ride or walk around the municipality I am affected by how the streets look. If the streets are bare, full of hard surfaces, weeds, litter etc, this impacts on all of us.

However, leafy green streets make everyone feel better, even if they are not consciously aware of this. There have been numerous research studies that show this to be true. People feel richer, happier & healthier when the streets are green & leafy.

A study released in 2015 of 31,000 residents of Toronto, Canada, found that people who lived in areas with higher street tree density had a far better perception of their own health. There was less reported mental illnesses, obesity, hypertension & other cardio-metabolic conditions compared with residents living in areas with fewer trees. See – http://www.nature.com/articles/srep11610

They also felt $10,000 richer when there were lots of street trees.

“We find that having 10 more trees in a city block, on average, improves health perception in ways comparable to an increase in annual personal income of $10,000 and moving to a neighborhood with $10,000 higher median income or being 7 years younger. We also find that having 11 more trees in a city block, on average, decreases cardio-metabolic conditions in ways comparable to an increase in annual personal income of $20,000 and moving to a neighborhood with $20,000 higher median income or being 1.4 years younger.”

The benefits of more trees were observed for areas within a radius of 5-kms, meaning the street trees in Camperdown, still has an impact on a resident who lives in Marrickville for example. So every time someone vandalises a street tree, the whole community is impacted.

Three-year-old street tree vandalised in Calvert Street.  Makes the street tree look so attractive.

Three-year-old street tree vandalised in Calvert Street. Makes the street look so attractive.

Showing that the tree in Calvert Street is still alive.

Showing that the tree in Calvert Street is still alive.

This tree on Victoria Road opposite Calvert Street has been vandalised a number of times.  It persists in growing.

This tree on Victoria Road opposite Calvert Street has been vandalised a number of times. It persists in growing.

The tree next to the tree above in Victoria Road has been finished for good.  4am secateur job maybe?

The tree next to the tree above in Victoria Road has been finished for good. A 4am secateur job maybe?

The bubbler fills the bowl, so there will likely always be some water in the bowl.

The bubbler fills the bowl, so there will likely always be some water available for birds & other wildlife.

I was really happy to see a new bubble/water bottle dispenser in Gough Whitlam Park.  What makes this bubbler especially good is that there is a bowl at the bottom for dogs to be able to have a drink.  Birds will also make use of it. The bottom bowl was full of water this afternoon.

If there is fresh water there will be also be birds & the presence of birds makes any park a much nicer place to be. At least Canterbury Council understands this.

There has been a significant reduction in birds in Tempe Reserve since Marrickville Council removed the tap & fresh water in March 2015.  See – http://bit.ly/1JCVESS  One of the main reasons we used to frequent this park was because we enjoy bird watching.  The emptiness of birds is quite sad.

Concern for the welfare of wildlife is automatic in the design of this bubbler in Bicentennial Park Glebe.  If you want bird life to survive well in the parks some fresh water supply is a must.  I think it is great to see such a compassionate approach to park infrastructure.  I wish all parks in Marrickville LGA had fresh water available for the birds.

Concern for the welfare of wildlife is automatic in the design of this bubbler in Bicentennial Park Glebe.   It is great to see such a compassionate approach to park infrastructure. I wish all parks in Marrickville LGA had fresh water available for the birds.

#-metre tall Queensland Brushbox trees planted in in-road tree pits.  Each tree has 5 ag-pipes installed for watering.  These trees will add a wonderful large canopy here, cooling the street, adding beauty & providing for wildlife.

Nine 3-metre tall Queensland Brushbox trees have been planted in in-road tree pits on busy Concord Street Erskineville. Each tree has 5 ag-pipes installed for watering.  These trees will add a wonderful large canopy here, cooling the street, adding beauty & providing for wildlife.

A very large public herb garden has been installed in Bray Street.  This garden has been reclaimed from the road.  It slows down traffic, coools the area, brings the community together & adds beauty - an all round winner.

A very large public herb garden has been installed in Bray Street. This garden, which had an olive tree in the centre, has been reclaimed from the road.  The garden slows down traffic, coools the area, brings the community together & adds beauty – an all round winner.

 

The City of Sydney Council has done some amazing street work that will benefit the community & wildlife immensely.

I first noticed the work beginning on Concord Street Erskineville around a month ago while we were out cycling.  The cycle path here is great & very safe because concrete blocks prevent vehicles from parking in the bicycle lane. This is a big plus as far as I am concerned.

We returned today to have a look at what has been done. Put simply, it is fantastic.

Nine 3-metre tall Queensland Brushbox trees have been planted in in-road tree pits on the railway line side of busy Concord Street. Each tree has five ag-pipes installed for the Council to easily water them. There is a space for two cars between each street tree giving the trees plenty of room to grow to their full size without their canopy being compromised. Cars cannot park close to their trunks & there are no overhead power lines either.

Showing part of a an in-road verge garden with bicycle lane in Concord Street.

Showing part of a an in-road verge garden with bicycle lane in Concord Street.

The City of Sydney Council is committed to lowering their urban heat island effect, so are planting street trees, removing concrete & planting verge gardens & green walls to help them achieve this.

Instead of taking the concrete footpath all the way to the fence of the railway line, they have left a substantial sized area next to the railway line fence. In this space are planted native lilies, native grasses & Wattle trees. With Wattle being fast growing, this area will look fabulous & green in no time. On the right side of the footpath are the Brushbox trees. The trees will serve to block the sight of the railway line, as well as reduce the noise of passing trains.

As Sydney Park is just across the railway line & Sydney Park Road, these trees & verge gardens provide a continuity of habitat for wildlife, especially birds.

Showing part of the corner of Bray & Concord Streets.  Large gardens have been installed where there was road.  These serve to slow down traffic. Plus they add beauty.

Showing part of the corner of Bray & Concord Streets. Large gardens have been installed where there was road. These serve to slow down traffic. Plus they add beauty.

Across the road is parking that is separated from the bicycle lane. Then comes a continuous verge garden that runs all the way to Concord Lane just a building away from the end of King Street. In this block they have planted a Tuckeroo tree.

All the street trees have been retained & a new tree planted where there is a gap. The verge garden is mulched from beginning to end, not just around the trees. Native violets, lilies & grasses, plus other plants I do not know have been planted & it looks fabulous.

The width of the verge garden is the same width as the footpath. To allow people to travel to their cars, large attractive sandstone pavers have been placed to allow walking across the verge garden. There are no trip hazards either.

At the corner of Concord & Bray Street half the road width has been reclaimed & large verge gardens have been planted on either side. These gardens slow down traffic, as well as allowing the area to be greened & made beautiful.

These gardens also include a small rain garden channel beside the gutter, which is filled with plants. What a great idea!  Lilly Pillies have been used as a screening hedge along the footpath.

Both sides of almost the whole of Bray Street to Bray Lane have been turned into a continuous wide verge garden. Previous in-road verge gardens have been retained. The street is green & leafy. Once the verge gardens mature, the beauty of the streetscape will increase exponentially.

The use of large sandstone pavers to allow people to travel to cars has been used here as well. At the King Street end of Bray Street a large section of the road on both sides has been reclaimed for in-road gardens.  One side has been planted by Council. However, it appears that residents have requested that the south side garden be left to them to create a herb garden for the street. An olive tree has been planted in this in-road garden.

It was interesting to watch young people stop to read the signs of the herbs & pick to smell. They spent 15-minutes here before walking on. This is a great way to passively educate about the environment & how verge gardens can be used to benefit the community, as well as provide beauty & increase livability.

This herb garden is something that will unite many of the residents of this street & help community building. It is large enough for many to become involved in the planting & care of this patch. I was impressed.

The City of Sydney Council has shown that even in the densely populated & busy streets of Erskineville the streetscape can be markedly improved both for the benefit of people & wildlife. The work they have done is beautiful & I will return in a year to review its growth.

All local councils can learn from this approach to streetscape creation. Gone is at least half of the concrete & the space filled with street trees & a variety of plants. Even the use of native grasses was minimized showing that there are other plants that can be planted by local councils in verge gardens. Really well done City of Sydney Council.

This photo shows how much of the road has been reclaimed for gardens.    The driveway to the gardage is now metres longer.

This photo shows how much of the road has been reclaimed for gardens. The driveway to the gardage is now metres longer.  

Showing another corner of reclaimed road.  There is design in the plants used & the council has not resorted to planting only native grasses.

Showing another corner of reclaimed road. There is design in the plants used & the council has not resorted to planting only native grasses.  Typical of the City of Sydney the street is filled with tall street trees, including Hill’s Fig trees.  A single verge runs for the whole of Bray Street on both sides of the street.  It already looks fantastic. 

A bicycle lane and a verge garden that is as wide as the concrete footpath runs the full length of this section of Concord Street.  The other side also has a wide contineous garden, plus in-road plantings of Queensland Brushbox trees.

A bicycle lane and a verge garden that is as wide as the concrete footpath runs the full length of this section of Concord Street. The other side also has a wide contineous garden, plus in-road plantings of Queensland Brushbox trees.  Mulch is used everywhere, not just around trees or plants.  Also they have used a variety of plants.

Another corner verge garden that used to be road.  This is in Bray Street.

Another corner verge garden that used to be road. This is in Bray Street.

This is an amazing verge garden on the corner of Concord & Bray Streets.  They have planted a Lilly Pilly hedge, a variety of plants & added a raingarden channel next to the gutter.

This is an amazing verge garden on the corner of Concord & Bray Streets. They have planted a Lilly Pilly hedge, a variety of plants & added a raingarden channel next to the gutter.

Showing thr channel rain garden.  How clever is that.

Showing thr channel rain garden. How clever is that.  Look at the variety of plants.  

Showing the same corner, but from the downhill side.

Showing the same corner, but from the downhill side.

 

Such a loss.  I have admired this tree with friends on many occasions.  Its bark was perfect habitat for insects and microbats.

Such a loss. I have admired this tree with friends on many occasions. Its bark was perfect habitat for insects and microbats. This photo was taken in July 2015.

Marrickville Council has given notice of their intention to remove a Southern Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globulus) in Enmore Park Marrickville.

They give the following reasons for removal –

  • “Tree is dead.
  • The tree poses an unacceptable level of risk to the public and property.”

I noticed this tree around a month ago. It is a particularly interesting & beautiful tree. I personally would like to see another of the same species as the replacement tree.

Council says they will decide what to replace it with “Subject to upcoming Open Space Master Plan 2015/16. To be planted as part of the 2016 Street/Park Tree Planting Program.”

The deadline for submissions is Tuesday 25th August 2015.

Small-leafed Peppermint tree for removal in Harrington Street Enmore

Small-leafed Peppermint tree for removal in Harrington Street Enmore. I wonder how long the other mature Small-leafed Peppermint tree behind this one will last. 

Marrickville Council has given notice of their intention to remove a Small-leafed Peppermint (Eucalyptus nicholii) outside 4 Harrington Street Enmore.

They give the following reasons for removal –

  • “Subject tree is in severe decline, with several internal defects.
  • Identified for removal under Street Tree Inventory 2012.
  • Tree in its current condition poses an unacceptable risk to the public, property and infrastructure.”

Council says they will replace with a Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia) in the 2016 Planting Program.

I had a look at the tree, but as the problems are internal, I could not see anything wrong.

There have been quite a few Small Leafed Peppermint trees removed throughout Marrickville LGA since Saving Our Trees started. Decades ago some forward-thinking Tree Manager had many of them planted throughout the municipality & the community has enjoyed these trees. So have the wildlife because they are great food & habitat trees. Unfortunately, many of this species seem to be coming to the end of their lives & need to be removed.

Researching the Small Leafed Peppermint I found that this tree is ‘Listed as Vulnerable’ by the Department of the Environment. See – http://bit.ly/1EcnCJc

This makes me wonder why Marrickville Council would not replace each Small Leafed Peppermint tree with another of the same species instead of replacing with an exotic species like the Jacaranda.  As pretty as the Jacaranda tree is, it cannot serve anywhere near the same environmental function to support wildlife as an Australian native tree that is listed as vulnerable. Small Leafed Peppermint trees have performed well as street trees in Marrickville municipality for decades.

The deadline for submissions is Tuesday 25th August 2015.

A Jacaranda planted a few metres away from the tree to be removed. Council must have run out of mulch.

A Jacaranda planted a few metres away from the tree to be removed. Council must have run out of mulch.

Three other newly planted Jacarandas in Harrington Street.

Three other newly planted Jacarandas in Harrington Street.

 

Cockatoo on the top of the habitat tree.

Cockatoo on the top of the habitat tree.

I wrote about the creation of a habitat tree in Addison Road Centre last October 2014. See – http://bit.ly/1bTy5LW

Sydney Blue gum turned into a habitat tree

Sydney Blue gum turned into a habitat tree

I was at the centre last week & was greeted by the sound of a raucous Cockatoo. He/she pranced around the tree before swooping low over my head. There were two Cockatoos around, so it looks like they may have moved in. Wonderful.

I was pleased to see that the tree was not producing masses of epicormic growth as happened to the tree in McNeilly Park. I was also pleased to see that bollards have been installed around the tree in preparation for the creation of a garden.

A sign explains what happened to the tree & says, “… it is home to Cockatoos, Rainbow Lorikeets, possums, microbats & more!” That is an impressive list of wildlife that has moved in within just ten months. I think it demonstrates the lack of nesting hollows locally.

I was also pleased to see that the front fence that was against the trunk of the veteran Sydney Blue Gum at the entrance to the Centre has been removed. The tree has been assessed as at least 150-years-old & is very important. Far more important than a fence, so I thank Addison Road Centre for doing this.

Taking off to swoop a metre above my head.  We both had fun.  I think it was the camera.

Taking off to swoop a metre above my head. I think it was the camera.  We both had fun. 

Bollards and a sign.  A very good opportunity to educate the public.

Bollards and a sign. A very good opportunity to educate the public.  

I was shocked to see this.  It once was a wonderful area of habitat.

I was shocked to see this. It once was a wonderful area of habitat.

This large area is now mulch

This large area is now mulch

Close to the bridge over the Cooks River at the Sugar Factory apartments & as you approach Cup & Saucer Creek Wetland there was a wonderful fairly large bush pocket. It contains roughly 40 mature trees & a number of saplings. Native grasses were growing in abundance.

It was a place full of the sound of birdsong & if you were lucky a butterfly would come flitting out. I always admired this bush pocket thinking that there aught to be more of these bushy areas that are off limits to people & which provide sanctuary, habitat & food for a huge range of wildlife.

So my mouth literally fell open when I came upon it today. All the lower branches have been pruned, so the lower part of all the trees looks like sticks. As if we don’t have enough of this everywhere we go!

The native grasses have been either removed or cut back & what was pruned from the trees has been spread as thick mulch on the ground.

I can’t imagine how many insects went through the wood chipper. As it is today it remains useful to birds, but for the rest of the wildlife, it now represents a stark unsafe place, so they had better find somewhere else to live…that is if they are still alive.

For us humans, the bulk of what made this place beautiful has gone. What was Canterbury Council thinking? This work is a major step backwards for biodiversity. Because the lower branches have been removed, this site will not be able to return to what it once was. Such a shame.

Almost every tree had been pruned.

Almost every tree had been pruned.

Mulch.

Mulch.

Even the native grasses were cut back.

Even the native grasses were cut back.

Print made by someone at the Cooks River Day Out.  To me it summed up the whole event.

Print made by someone at the Cooks River Day Out. To me it summed up the whole event.

'Mike' is Mike Baird MP & Premier of New South Wales.  I hope he & his party listens to the loud call from the community for a Cash for Containers scheme to be returned to NSW.  The environment needs it desperately.

‘Mike’ is Mike Baird MP & Premier of New South Wales. I hope he & his party listens to the loud call from the community for a Cash for Containers scheme to be returned to NSW. The environment needs it desperately.

Showing some of the tents at the Cooks River Day Out.   They chose a great place to have it because there was lots of shady trees where people could get respite from the heat,

Showing some of the tents at the Cooks River Day Out. They chose a great place to have the event because there was lots of shady trees where people could get respite from the heat,

We have just come back from a terrific time at the ‘Cooks River Day Out’ organized by the Cooks River Alliance & held in Gough Whitlam Reserve Earlwood.

One of the exhibits

One of the exhibits

There were lots of stalls providing information – The Cooks River Valley Association & The Mudcrabs, The Wolli Creek Preservation Society, the Total Environment Centre & the Ethnic Communities Council.  The Taronga Zoomobile brought along native animals inside fish tanks to view.

Travelbugs Mobile Mini-beasts brought along a number of stick insects, which were impossible to find until we had them pointed out to us. There were also a number of other living insects providing an educational display.

Gaawaa Miyay Designs was holding a very popular workshop where young & old were scratching designs on pieces of Styrofoam, which was then made into a print for people to take home. People had created some wonderful work.

Aside from the print-making, there were workshops on weaving, creating rain gardens, bush tucker & also guided bush tucker walks & Aboriginal history along the Cooks River.

Leon from Taronga Zoo with Spike the Echidna.

Leon from Taronga Zoo with Spike the Echidna.

I saw my first echidna close up & what a gorgeous lively animal ‘Spike’ was. He was 10-years old & very used to being the centre of attraction at educational events.   When I asked what would happen if he were left to dig, the zookeeper said he would need a shovel to get him out of the ground. That fast!  Who knew.

Plus there was a Reverse Vending Machine for 10-cent refund on plastic bottles. I do not understand why these machines are not everywhere. NSW should have a Cash for Containers scheme. I remember people collecting cans & bottles on garbage night in the mid-90s. Instead we have an environment where drink cans & bottles are everywhere destroying the environment & causing great harm to wildlife. A Cash for Containers scheme is a no brainer.

It was a beautiful hot summer’s day despite still being winter.   People were seeking shade under the trees. The music was great & so was the atmosphere. It was wonderful to see so many local groups whose focus is to clean up the Cooks River, as well as to protect the environment. See my blog roll for contact details.

Well done to everyone involved. I hope this becomes a yearly event.

Volunteers of the Cooks River Valley Association with their new green t-shirt on display - "Cooks River Safe to Swim by 2020."

Volunteers of the Cooks River Valley Association with their new green t-shirt on display – “Cooks River – Safe to Swim by 2020.”

Volunteers of the Wolli Creek Preservation Society.

Volunteers of the Wolli Creek Preservation Society.

A Spiny Leaf insect, which looked just like leaves when in follage.

A Spiny Leaf insect, which looked just like leaves when in follage.

Close-up of the echidna.  What a cute face.

To end, here is a close-up of Spike the echidna. What a cute face.

 

Looking good.  A row of Queensland Brushbox trees have been planted to replace the canopy lost when 31 large mature trees were chopped down in the St Vincent's de Paul complex in 2011.

Looking good. A row of Queensland Brushbox trees have been planted to replace the canopy lost when 31 large mature trees were chopped down in the St Vincent’s de Paul complex in 2011.

Queensland Brushbox trees have been planted as far as the corner opposite Brighton Street Petersham.  West Street is a 'gateway' into the municipality, so it is great to have trees to make a beautiful entrance.

Trees have been planted as far as the corner opposite Brighton Street Petersham. West Street is a ‘gateway’ into the municipality, so it is great to have trees to make a beautiful entrance.

West Street Petersham used to be a very beautiful street with the lovely grounds & historic buildings of the St Vincent’s de Paul complex (once the Lewisham Hospital) on one side & the equally historic Petersham Park on the other side.

After 31 large mature trees were removed from the front of the St Vincent’s de Paul complex in early 2011, this side of West Street became something else – a hot bland area & a massive loss to the beauty of the area.

In 2013 Marrickville Council concreted the whole width of the footpath outside St Vincent’s de Paul without planting a single street tree despite that this is a very wide footpath with no overhead power lines or buildings to present any difficulties.   It was extremely disappointing.

Earlier this year I noticed that large sections of concrete had been removed from the footpath & these areas topped with whitish gravel. I wondered whether this had been done to prepare for planting of street trees or just for storm water management. A couple of weeks ago I drove down West Street & to my utter delight saw a number of newly planted street trees.

If I remember correctly a total of 14 new Queensland Brushbox trees have been planted & all are of a good size. Hopefully this will prevent them from being vandalized.

These trees have been planted all along the footpath in front of St Vincent’s de Paul right to the corner opposite Brighton Street. They will eventually match the mature trees that line the perimeter of Petersham Park & once again this street will look beautiful again.

It’s a shame that Council did not decide to plant street trees when they concreted the footpath, as it is costly to undo new work, essentially doing a job twice. However, planting street trees along here is the best thing that Marrickville Council could have done for the community, as well as the environment. These trees will help lower the pollution caused by vehicles on this very busy road & will offer habitat & food for local wildlife. I am very happy about this.

Showing a long view downhill towards Parramatta Road.  Large areas of new concrete were removed to create planting sites for the trees.

Showing a long view downhill towards Parramatta Road. Large areas of new concrete were removed to create planting sites for the trees.  As you can see, the remaining footpath is still wide enough for a car to drive down, so more than enough for pedestrians.

Further up toawards Brighton Street looking downhill towards Parramatta Road.  You can see the trees in Petersham Park.

Further up toawards Brighton Street looking downhill towards Parramatta Road. You can see the trees in Petersham Park.

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