Beautiful Maundrell Park in Stanmore is filled with really significant trees.

The City of Melbourne is doing what I have wanted to happen here for a long time – putting a dollar value on their public trees.  They are using the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show as an opportunity to educate visitors of the value of the trees in Carlton Gardens, where the show is being held.

The trees in the southern section only of Carlton Gardens are worth nearly $6 million.  Not all the trees in this section have been valued, so the final total would be higher.  This dollar amount gives the community a snapshot, which they can mentally transfer to individual trees, the other many large parks in Melbourne & suburbs as well as their long avenues of large street trees.

i-Tree Eco software is being used to calculate the value of each tree.  I have written about this free downloadable software previously.  See – https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2011/01/28/calculating-the-dollar-value-of-trees/  & https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/itree-version-4-0/

“The trial application of i-Tree in Carlton Gardens South has shown that around 300 trees remove around 242 kgs of air pollution a year, currently store 620,000 kgs of carbon & sequester 9,500 kgs of carbon each year. Best performing species appears to be Ficus macrophylla & some of the Ulmus species also provide high value. The calculation of the value takes into account several factors including ground cover area, leaf area & leaf biomass, as well as height & size of each tree.  There is growing recognition of the importance of the ‘urban forest’ – that is all the trees & shrubs on both private & public land – to our health & wellbeing in many ways, both physically & emotionally. This importance will be enhanced as we can now put an economic value on the urban forest.”

The Cook Island pine in Marrickville South is another significant tree of high value

When the community recognise that the street tree out front is worth hundreds if not thousands of dollars & that its presence translates into raising the value of their property or street, they will be (hopefully) less likely to mistreat the tree & more likely to look after it.  New tree plantings will be less likely to be removed or sabotaged.

Prior to their poisoning, the 2 beautiful mature Hill’s Figs in Margaret Street Dulwich Hill not only provided massive health & environmental benefits to the local area, they also significantly raised the value of housing both in Margaret Street & nearby streets as well.

One Fig tree in Carlton Gardens was valued at $60,000 so we can reasonably say that the poisoning of the 2 mature Hills; Figs in Margaret Street Dulwich Hill robbed the local community & the greater community of Marrickville LGA of public assets worth around $120,000.  Those who are lucky enough to have a large landmark tree near their property reap many more benefits than those who have a small tree or worse, concrete only outside their property.

Trees are worth big bucks & this demonstration in Carlton Gardens will likely shock many people who have never thought of trees as being an economic asset.  If people realised the monetary gain to their own property, they would think seriously before poisoning a street tree due to leaf litter, wildlife, shade or some other reason.

Hopefully Marrickville Council will do similar calculations as part of the upcoming tree inventory, so that we can have local examples that schools & Council can use to educate & engage the community.

As well as the article there is a map of Carlton Gardens South at the following link showing the dollar value of each tree. If you zoom the screen a number of times the map is easier to read. –  http://www.plantlifebalance.com.au/more-trees-please/trees-shading-visitors-to-melbourne-international-flower-garden-show-valued-at-nearly-6-million/

Enmore Park is filled with significant & what I would consider historic trees. Notice the group of people sitting in the shade with no-one sitting in the sun. This photo was taken March 2012.

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