Stunning Fig tree below Richardsons Reserve Marrickville

Stunning Fig tree in Richardsons Reserve Marrickville


1.      62-year-old American, Harvey Updyke Jr famed for poisoning two 130-year-old much-loved Southern Live Oak trees called the Toomer’s Oaks in Auburn University Alabama in January 2011 after his team lost a game has been sentenced to 3 year’s gaol. Currently in custody, he will remain in custody about 6-more months. After release he will have a 7pm curfew & be on supervised probation for 5-years with the conditions that he is not allowed to enter the university campus, attend any sporting event or enter a Lowes Store where he threatened an employee.  He was also fined $1,000.    The trees will be chopped down in April with the wood being made into souvenirs & a memorial to be displayed at the local museum.

2.       Anne Frank wrote in her diaries about the Horse Chestnut tree that she could see from the Amsterdam attic window where she & her family hid for 2-years during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II.  From my favourite spot on the floor I look up at the blue sky & the bare chestnut tree, on whose branches little raindrops shine, appearing like silver, & at the sea gulls & other birds as they glide on the wind…I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”  The tree was estimated to be between 150 &170-years-old & sadly blew down in 2010.  Eleven cuttings of this tree will be planted across the US this year as “as symbols of tolerance & hope.”

3.       Massive fossil trees have been found in northern Thailand. “The longest petrified log measures 72.2 meters (237 feet), which suggest the original tree towered to more than 100 meters (330 feet) in a wet tropical forest some 800,000 years ago.”  No living tree in Thailand is anywhere near the size of the fossils.  One of the fossils has grabbed the title of the worlds longest unbroken fossilized tree trunk.  Seven fossils out of nine have been excavated.

4.      Tree number seven billion has been planted as part of the British Columbia reforestation program in Canada, which began in 1930.  “It took 51 years for the province to plant its first billion trees. The second-billionth tree was planted merely eight years later in 1989. The province planted the sixth-billionth tree four years ago at Knox Mountains in Kelowna.”  What a fantastic feat.

5.      Arlington National Cemetery, a military cemetery in Virginia US is to be expanded because they will run out of burial space within 12-years. 800 trees will be chopped down to make way for the expansion & many are against this environmental destruction. “Critics of the plan say that the loss of older, mature woodlands will have an outsized impact on the natural habitat, given that much of the rest of Arlington County is urbanized. Such older woodlands would take generations to replace, essentially making them ‘irreplaceable’ said critics, including members of several citizen groups like the Arlington Urban Forestry Commission.”  Cemetery officials say most of the trees are 50-100 years old, with the oldest at about 145 years old.  Each tree removal will allow 30 graves.

6.       Trinity Oaks wine brand has a tree-planting program called ‘One Bottle, One Tree.’  They teamed up with non-profit organization ‘Trees for the Future,’ in July 2008 & have planted 7-million trees throughout Africa, Asia & Latin America.  Angove Wines from Australia are included in their program, but you would need to purchase a bottle in the US for it to be made into a tree.  It’s great to see an Australian wine involved.

7.      Nursery owners in Pakistan have vowed to set fire to 1-million tree seedlings on the World Forest Day to protest against what they consider flawed forestation policies of the government. “The extreme step was being taken as a last resort to shakeup national conscience & to make people think what is wrong with Pakistan’s forestation policies.
  There is no forestation in Pakistan despite the fact that millions of seedlings & millions of acres of suitable land was available.”

8.      63,000 trees were planted over 5-days along streets & roundabouts in Sana’a in Yemen to improve the city’s appearance. Almost 10,000 street trees were planted last year.  In a bid to be more sustainable, water used for personal washing will be collected from mosques & used to water the trees.

9.      The first time chop sticks were used was by Da Yu, the founder of the Xia dynasty in 2100 BC. “It was an invention born of urgency. In his rush to reach a flood zone, Da Yu did not want to wait for his meat in his wok to cool, instead seizing a pair of twigs & wolfing down his meal.” – thus chop sticks were born.  The chairman of Jilin Forestry Industry Group has said “We must change our consumption habits & encourage people to carry their own tableware.”  He advocates the change because China is chopping down 20-million mature trees a year to supply disposable chop sticks & their own forests will not cover this need.  China is the world’s largest importer of wood.

10.      New Zealander Brian Kent, has been fined $45,800 for the illegal felling of native trees so he could have an unobstructed harbour view of the Bay of Plenty on the North Island from his spa pool.  He also has to pay $265.78 court costs, $226 solicitor’s fees & $5000 reparation bringing the total to $51,331.78.  The trees were in a special ecological area, the Daisy Hardwick Reserve.  Eleven trees valued at almost $63,000 were chopped down.  The contractor received a $1500 fine, plus 200 hours community service.

View of the Cooks River from Warren Park

View of the Cooks River from Warren Park