This Illawarra Flame tree at the north end of Illawarra Road Marrickville is like a flaming beacon as you drive up the road. The tree look glorous & is filled with birds.  This is the only Illawarra Flame tree that I have seen used as a street tree in Marrickville LGA, though I have seen a few in private property.

Yesterday ‘Science Alert’ published a great article on recent world-first research by The ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions & The Australian National University in Canberra. The research recommended Councils & residents planting native trees instead of exotics to save native birds.

Marrickville Council’s recently published Tree Inventory found that over 42% of the street tree population is provided by only 5 species. This can’t be good for not only native birds, but also flying foxes either.  I doubt that it is the norm for native trees to be planted on private property in Marrickville LGA, so this puts even more pressure on birds to find sufficient food.

The researchers found that –

  • Suburbs with more than 30% native street trees have 11% more bird species of all types than those with exotic street trees.
  • With the exception of native birds that avoid urban areas, a significantly higher number of bird species – both feral & native – were found in suburbs with more than 30% of Eucalyptus trees.
  • Parks with large eucalypts (trunk diameter over a metre) had up to three times the number of bird species than parks with smaller trees.  – “So instead of removing these old trees, we can prune them, create zones or put up safety warnings.”  Note:  69% of public trees across Marrickville municipality have been found to be “too old” by the recently completed Tree Inventory, meaning it will soon be time for them to be removed. “We can also proactively plan for future large trees, so that the younger can replace the over-mature ones.  In addition, these trees can be given greater legislative protection,” the researchers say.”
  • While exotic trees are most popular choices in current street tree plans because they provide winter sun they have a negative impact on native birdlife.  

To read this excellent article, click here –  They also have the link to the abstract.

This Gum tree in Victoria Road Marrickville (near Enmore Park) caught my attention because of the noise coming from chirping birds. Something must be delicious up there.  This is obviously an important tree for local wildlife.