This section of Audley Street Petersham looks great.  It's nice to spend time at a cafe under the shade of a street tree.

This section of Audley Street Petersham looks great. It’s nice to spend time at a cafe under the shade of a street tree. I am sure that the businesses along here profited by the planting of trees.

I love it when a Local Council in Australia does something so proactive as invite the residents to become an integral part of increasing the urban forest on a regular basis, not just for a one-off annual event.

The City of Stirling in Western Australia is calling for residents to become –

  • A ‘Street Tree Captain’ and/or
  • A Community Street Tree Planting Volunteer.

The volunteer Street Tree Captains are responsible for organizing street tree-planting events, while working with the Community Tree Officer & participating residents.  Street tree Captains are required to attend Adopt a Street-Tree Program volunteer training sessions.

“An important part of this role is liaising and communicating with residents in your street. This involves seeking their support of the Adopt a Street-Tree Program (specifically agreeing to plant a street tree on the verge), explaining to them what the Program is about, promoting the benefits of street trees, collecting resident signatures on a Community Street Tree Planting Registration Form, as well as providing key information about your street’s tree planting event.”

The Community Street Tree Planting Volunteer assists at community street tree planting events around the City of Stirling municipality, usually on a Saturday morning.  They also receive training in the Adopt a Street-Tree Program.  See –  http://bit.ly/VEI38M

Marrickville Council currently pays $1,000 for each tree planted in the ground.   Ten trees equal $10,000.  I think this is an extraordinary amount of money & believe that Council could benefit from utilizing the help of the community to plant street trees.  The community would benefit by getting more trees for the dollar in the ground.  Hopefully we would see a significant increase in the urban forest as planting would not cost so much.

The street trees outside shops on Illawarra Road Marrickville were vandalised more than 2 years ago.  The holes remain empty.

The street trees outside shops on Illawarra Road Marrickville were vandalised more than 2 years ago. The holes remain empty.

An Adopt a Street-Tree Program can result in the new street trees surviving past Council’s 12-week watering commitment.

The tree watering guidelines I have seen in the US recommend that new trees are given 38-litres (10-gallons) of water per week for every 2.5 cm (1 inch) of trunk diameter for two to three years to ensure their survival.  Therefore, a 5 cm (2 inch) diameter tree would require approximately 75.7-litres (20-gallons) of water per week.  New trees lose roots when they are being planted & are less able to take up water than established trees.  Water also helps new trees to grow.

If the cost of water is an issue, then perhaps there should be a Council Rebate for participating residents & businesses.  A great street tree is worth a significant amount of money & is classified as an asset of the Council.  A great street tree outside a business is attractive to customers & a great street tree outside a house increases the value of the property.   The pay-off is worth it in my mind.

Maybe with some community involvement the vandalised trees at Tempe Reserve could have been replaced at a much lower cost than the $7,000 it would cost Council to do it

Maybe with some community involvement the vandalised trees at Tempe Reserve could have been replaced at a much lower cost than the $7,000 it would cost Council to do it.

 

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