This verge garden runs from the corner of Gleeson Avenue along Unwins Bridge Road right to the building.

This verge garden runs from the corner of Gleeson Avenue along Unwins Bridge Road right to the building.

Looking down toward the corner.

Looking down toward the corner.

I was really pleased to see that Marrickville Council has recently replaced a stretch of footpath beside Memory Reserve on Unwins Bridge Road Sydenham & created a verge garden.  They planted grasses & to me, this kind look good. The grasses also match the work done just inside Memory Reserve. They will visually soften this area.

The same species of grasses just inside Memory Reserve.  It looks pretty &  I often see people sitting in this park.

The same species of grasses just inside Memory Reserve.  I often see people sitting in this park.

These 65-year-old Figs in Memory Reserve are incredibly important trees in this area, which is full of hard surfaces.

These 65-year-old Figs in Memory Reserve are incredibly important trees in this area, which is full of hard surfaces.

 

 

Every healthy tree is worth saving.

Every healthy tree is worth saving.

I’ve written about this subject before, but have met quite a few people of late concerned about tree roots in their sewerage pipes, so I thought it was worth writing about again.

Tree roots in pipes used to be a big deal & expensive too. One had the choice of calling in a plumber on a regular basis to clean out the roots with an electric eel. Unfortunately, the tree’s roots would always come back because of the cracks in the old pipes. Frustrating to say the least & the outcome often ending up with the removal of the tree, which is a huge loss.

I learnt about trenchless relining of old pipes from Sydney Water. They were in my area lining sewerage pipes that appeared to me to be big enough to drive a small car through.

It was explained to me that the sewerage pipe was being cleared of tree roots & other blockages. This is a common problem because much of our sewerage pipes are 100-years-old or more. They crack because of age, movement of earth, damage & tree roots. Tree roots can enter pipes through joints & very small cracks. These cracks get bigger as the tree root grows.

Once the pipe was cleared, Sydney Water fed a flat flexible pipe that looked like thick hessian. Once that pipe reached the other end it was fixed & then boiling water was fed through this pipe to inflate it, as well as melt the polymer resin glue inside the fabric.  The new pipe took the shape & size of the original pipe, closing off all cracks, joints, damage & holes. Twelve hours later the pipe lining was set rock hard. The man from Sydney Water said something like, “not even the roots of a mighty Fig can get through now.”

You don’t need to have old cracked pipes dug up causing a mess & damaging your garden. Tree roots cannot infiltrate your pipe for a long time – companies guarantee their work between 20-50 years.  The pipes in home situations can be used again within hours.  The pipe lining is continuous, so no more joints, which can provide entry to tree roots.

No tree needs to be removed, so you get to have working pipes & keep your lovely tree.  Plus all companies say this option can end up being much cheaper than excavating & replacing pipes.

So the next time you hear someone complaining about tree roots blocking their pipes, please tell them about this option.  Finding a local company that does this is an easy search on the net. Sharing this information may help keep many trees that would otherwise be removed.

This video by an American company outlines the whole process in 3-minutes – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UXthJMd4gg

The new Winged Victory

The new Winged Victory

A wider view of Winged Victory

A wider view of Winged Victory

A back view of Winged Victory

A back view of Winged Victory

I’ve waited a suitable time before I posted about the Marrickville Town Hall upgrade in deference to those who lost their lives in the wars. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend the Marrickville Remembers March to mark the centenary of the Anzac landing at Gallipoli on 19th April 2015, but I am told it was a great success. During this event the new Winged Victory statue was unveiled, plus the refurbished forecourt & War Memorial.

I think the new Winged Victory is wonderful & it is great to have a statue back in this location. It is also great to see the War Memorial looking cared for, as it should be considering the 457 Marrickville soldiers who died during World War 1.

Over the last few years, people have written to ask me to take photos of their family member’s name on the War Memorial. Now that the soldiers’ names have been filled with gold & the War Memorial has been refurbished, I am happy to do this again. Contact me – Jacqueline savingourtrees@gmail.com

As for the $500,000 upgrade of the Town Hall Forecourt, it is exactly as I envisaged & not to my liking at all.  I find it hard, grey & cold.  It will be miserable in winter & hot in summer.  I also miss the trees & the sound of birds, which is to be expected.  Time will tell whether the community love these works or it is considered as bad as the upgrade of Alex Trevillion Plaza further down Marrickville Road.

The $75,000 plans for the Marrickville Town Hall Forecourt upgrade had the objective “….to create an austere response.”  They achieved their objective.  See what you think.

Plaque on the Marrickville War Memorial

Plaque on the Marrickville War Memorial

The repaired Marrickville War memorial

The repaired Marrickville War memorial.  Very nice to see wreaths & gold lettering.

Not so nice to see flooding around the War Memorial.  This is brand new work & it should not be retaining water.

Not so nice to see flooding around the War Memorial. This is brand new work & it should not be retaining water.

More retained water on the other side of the Marrickville War memorial

More retained water on the other side of the Marrickville War memorial.

Looking across the Marrickville War memorial towards St Clement's Church

Looking across the Marrickville War Memorial towards St Clement’s Church.

Looking at the Marrickville War Memorial from Petersham Road.

Looking at the Marrickville War Memorial from Petersham Road.

Brass rails from the Petersham Road side

Brass rails from the Petersham Road side

The landscaping.

The landscaping.

Looking across the Marrickville Town Hall forecourt.  Note the car blocking the disabled entry to the Town Hall.

Looking across the Marrickville Town Hall forecourt down Marrickville Road & showing the Magnolia tree.  .Note the car blocking the disabled entry into the Town Hall.  

Seating & landscaping around the Magnolia tree.

Seating & landscaping around the Magnolia tree.

A long view of the Marrickville Town Hall forecourt.  Find the tree.

A long view of the Marrickville Town Hall forecourt.

The side of Marrickville Town Hall denuded of trees.

The side of Marrickville Town Hall denuded of trees.

 

Screen shot from the video - Netherlands Rolls Out Solar Road

Screen shot from the video – ‘Netherlands Rolls Out Solar Road’

Imagine a road or a path that generates solar power. It has been done. Dutch company SolaRoad created a 70-metre test track along a bike path on the outskirts of Amsterdam.

Cheap mass-produced solar panels were sandwiched between layers of glass, silicon rubber & concrete. The solar path generated over 3,000-kwh over a 6-month period.

The surface of the path is strong enough to cope with the weight of a 12-tonne truck. 150,000 plus cyclists have ridden over this solar path during the 6-month test period. If a solar panel is damaged or covered it will automatically switch off while the remainder of the panels continue to work as usual. See – http://bit.ly/1dVyDm9

I think this is brilliant & can only hope this kind of paths & road surface becomes the norm.

You can watch a short video of the solar path here – http://bit.ly/1Hev1YW

The Little Free Library at Hurlstone Park.  I think it is wonderful to see this happening & I  hope Marrickville Council decides to follow this initiative.

The Little Free Library at Hurlstone Park. I think it is wonderful & I hope Marrickville Council decides to follow this initiative.

The first time I came across the concept of a Little Free Library was on a Portland website dedicated to a plethora of community building initiatives, all designed to soften the streetscape & make neighbourhoods safer by bringing people together.   One of these initiatives was the Little Free Library – a small usually red box with a glass front filled with donated books. “Take a book – return a book.”

The first Little Free Library started in 2009 after Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, built one as a tribute to his mother & installed it in his front yard.  Rick Brooks, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison loved this idea & partnered with Todd Bol to spread the Little Free Libraries throughout Wisconsin. Since then the Little Free Library concept has taken off around the world.

“By January of 2015, the total number of registered Little Free Libraries in the world was conservatively estimated to be nearly 25,000, with thousands more being built.” http://littlefreelibrary.org/ourhistory/

I saw my first Little Free Library outside Hurlstone Park Railway Station & it does look good.  It was built by the Canterbury Men’s Shed for Canterbury Council & was opened only on 8th April 2015.  I think it was a brilliant idea to put this particular Little Free Library right next to the railway station & near the shops. I imagine it will be quite popular with commuters & shoppers.  Good one Canterbury Council.

Frankston Library.  Photo by Elizabeth Grasso with thanks.

Frankston Library. Photo by Elizabeth Grasso with thanks.

This is the exterior wall of Frankston Library in Victoria.  I am a fan of street art & see it as a perfect way in which to provide passive education of the benefits & beauty of nature.  Melbourne has a lot of street art that focuses on the environment & it is beautiful to see.

This wall at Frankston Library is captivating.   It invites the viewer to travel through the arch & walk alongside beautiful old trees in their mind.  One wonders what the story of the mouse is & what is beyond the far gate.  I love it & wish we could have street art of a similar kind here.

The trees to be removed are marked with a yellow dot.

The trees to be removed are marked with a yellow dot.

Marrickville Council has given notice of their intention to remove 2 Small-Leafed Peppermint trees (Eucalyptus nicholii) outside 26 Thomas Street, Lewisham.

They give the following reasons for removal –

  • “Trees are dead.
  • The trees in their present state pose an unacceptable level of risk to the public & property.”

Council says they will replace these trees with a Spotted Gum (Corymbia maculata) in the current 2015 Street Tree Planting Program.

To me the trees did not look dead, though they did look unwell with lots of epicormic growth & bare branches.  That Council will replace these two trees with a native Spotted gum is pleasing, though I wish they would plant two trees to replace the two trees being removed.  Many Councils are replacing on a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio to increase their urban forest. There is space on this street for another street tree.

The deadline for submissions is Friday 8th May 2015.

Part of the canopy removed to prevent further splitting.

Part of the canopy has been removed to prevent further splitting.

Marrickville Council has given notice of their intention to remove a Black Tea Tree (Melaleuca bracteata) outside 6 Phillip Street Petersham.

They give the following reasons for removal:

  • Active crack/split in main trunk causing the tree to be structurally unsound.
  • The tree in its present state poses an unacceptable level of risk to the public & property.” 

The split in the trunk is the largest I have seen. Council has reduced the canopy to render the tree safe until they remove it.

Council says they will replace this tree with a Watergum (Tristaniopsis laurina) in the current 2015 Street Tree Planting Program.

The Watergum is a slow-growing Australian native that likes to grow along water-courses & other moist areas. It has non-invasive roots & can grow to 15-metres, but would take many years to do so. Clusters of small yellow flowers appear in January & early February.  These are common street trees across Marrickville LGA.

The deadline for submissions is Friday 8th May 2015.

Showing the split in the trunk.

Showing the split in the trunk.

Waiting for final removal.

Waiting for final removal.

Marrickville Council has given notice of their intention to remove a Small-Leafed Peppermint (Eucalyptus nicholii) outside 17 Eltham Street Dulwich Hill.

They give the following reasons for removal –

  • “Major branch failure during high winds resulting in approx. 40% loss of canopy leaving the tree unstable.
  • The tree in its present state poses an unacceptable level of risk to the public & property.”

Council says they will replace with a Chinese Pistachio (Pistacia chinensis) in the current 2015 Street Tree Planting Program.

The Chinese pistachio is native to China, Taiwan & the Philippines.  It is fast-growing, deciduous & puts on a red display in autumn. It reaches a height of between 6-10 metres.  Female trees produce berries that are attractive to birds.

The Queensland Government website says, – “Chinese pistachio (Pistacia chinensis) is regarded as an environmental weed in New south Wales & the ACT, & is also a potential environmental weed or “sleeper weed”  in other parts of southern Australia.”   See – http://bit.ly/190nZHG

It is beyond my understanding why Marrickville Council chooses to plant risky non-native trees when there are so many suitable Australian native trees.

The deadline for submissions is Friday 8th May 2015.

:   Small-Leafed Peppermint (Eucalyptus nicholii) outside 371 Livingstone Road Marrickville.  This tree has had a number of major branches pruned.

: Small-Leafed Peppermint outside 371 Livingstone Road Marrickville. This tree has had a number of major branches pruned.

Marrickville Council has given notice of their intention to remove 3 street trees in Marrickville.

Tree number 1: Weeping Bottlebrush (Callistemon viminallis) outisde 45 Despointes Street Marrickville.

They give the following reasons for removal –

  • “White rot evident throughout main trunk.
  • Significant cavity at base.
  • The tree in its present state poses an unacceptable level of risk to the public & property.”

I could not find this tree.

Council says they will replace with a Chinese Tallow tree (Sapium sebiferum) in the current 2015 Street Tree Planting Program.

The Chinese Tallow tree is native to China & has naturalised in Japan, Taiwan, India, Pakistan, Europe, Martinique, Sudan & the USA. It is a fast-growing ornamental deciduous tree that reaches 6-10 metres on average.

It produces thousands of seeds which are spread to other locations by birds & floodwater.  Mature trees can produce up to 100,000 seeds per year & seeds can remain dormant for many years. It also produces root suckers.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries classifies this tree as a regionally Prohibited Weed & asks people to report any sightings of this tree. Their website says this tree is considered one of America’s worst weeds and is described as virtually impossible to eliminate once established.   Naturalised populations have now been identified in various locations throughout southeast Queensland. The largest infestation of Chinese tallow tree exists near Casino, NSW.   Smaller infestations are evident throughout the North Coast, Central Coast & New England regions of NSW. Localised plants also exist in Victoria.”

I am surprised that Marrickville Council is planting this tree considering its potential to cause major damage to the environment. There are so many other choices of tree that could benefit local wildlife without endangering the local environment. See – http://weeds.dpi.nsw.gov.au/Weeds/Details/38

Tree number 2: Small-Leafed Peppermint (Eucalyptus nicholii) outside 371 Livingstone Road Marrickville.

Council gives the following reasons for removal –

  • “Tree is in severe decline, with over 80% canopy dieback.
  • The tree in its present state poses an unacceptable level of risk to the public & property.”

Council says they will replace with a Brush Box (Lophostemon confertus) in the current 2015 Street Tree Planting Program.

The tree is as Council states, which is a shame as it was a great tree in this street. The canopy dieback shows that it is dying & therefore should be removed.   It has had a number of branches pruned in the past.  I am pleased that Council are replacing with a native tree species that will reach a decent size & improve on the streetscape.

Tree number 3:   Ironbark (Eucalyptus sideroxylon) opposite 22 Edinburgh Road Marrickville.

Council gives the following reasons for removal –

  • “Large wound with internal decay & associated fruiting body.
  • The tree in its present state poses an unacceptable level of risk to the public & property.”

Council says they will replace with a Spotted Gum (Corymbia maculata) in the current 2015 Street Tree Planting Program.

This poor tree appears to have been hit by a truck in the past. It leans over the road & needs to be removed.  The replacement with a native Spotted gum is pleasing, as this tree will not only provide beauty, but also food for wildlife.

The deadline for submissionsfor all three trees is Friday 8th May 2015.

Ironbark (Eucalyptus sideroxylon) opposite 22 Edinburgh Road Marrickville.

Ironbark (Eucalyptus sideroxylon) opposite 22 Edinburgh Road Marrickville.  The injury is the whitish area half way up the trunk.

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