The photo doesn't do these trees justice. The Sydney Blue Gum especially looks magnificent in the streetscape. Its loss will be deeply felt.

Marrickville Council has said they intend to remove 2 street trees in Marrickville.

Tree number 1: 

A Sydney Blue Gum (Eucalyptus saligna) from outside 87 Premier Street Marrickville.  Coucil gives the following reasons for removal –

  • “Unsustainable tree species for location
  • Root system causing damage to private retaining wall
  • Unpredictable branch loss recorded
  • Disruption to driveway crossover, curb/gutter & footpath.”

Tree number 2:

A Spotted Gum (Corymbia maculata) from the same location outside 87 Premier Street Marrickville.  Council gives the following reasons for removal –

  • “Poor structure & asymmetrical form due to canopy suppression.
  • Necessary removal of Tree 1 will predispose the tree to altered wind loading & potential branch loss. 
  • Future growth may cause similar damage to private infrastructure.”

Showing the distance to the retaining wall. I would not consider a crack like this across a driveway to be sufficient reason to remove a street tree.

Council say they will replace these 2 trees with Snow in Summer (Melaleuca linariifolia), but do not indicate when they will do this. They do not indicate whether 1 or 2 trees will be planted to replace these 2 trees.

The loss of these trees will cause grief in the local area as they are tall trees that can be seen from many places.  The Sydney Blue Gum has a spectacular canopy & when we arrived it was literally bursting with singing Lorikeets feasting on flowers.  Its loss will have a significant impact on urban wildlife as well.

As sad as it is, I do agree with Council that this tree needs to go.  It is in front of a house that is placed well below street level with a deep retaining wall situated next to the footpath.  These trees are around 1.5 metres from this wall. A quick look over the fence showed that the retaining wall is cracking.  The roots of this tree will continue to push against the wall costing the owners significant money to repair & perhaps placing them at risk should the wall give way one day.

Because there are few trees of this size in the area & because the Sydney Blue Gum especially offers a great source of food for wildlife, I will be putting in a submission asking Marrickville Council to plant at least 2 Sydney Blue Gums a few metres down the road in Mackey Park.  There is certainly room for more trees in Mackey Park as well as room for trees of this size. A Snow in Summer will go nowhere near replacing the food source provided by the Sydney Blue Gum & for the sake of shinking biodiversity in Marrickville LGA, such food sources should be maintained as much as possible.

The community has often spoken to me about the need for more large trees in Mackey Park & along the Cooks River between Mackey Park & Steel Park.  There are vast treeless areas along the Cooks River between these two parks.  Across the river Casuarinas are being removed & hundreds of trees have been planted with still more tree planting activities planned by Canterbury Council.

The deadline for submissions ends Monday 12th March 2012. 

Although I believe this particular tree needs to go because of damage to private property that is potentially dangerous to the residents, I do not believe that this kind of damage to a kerb & gutter should mean the removal of any street tree.