Street tree failure in Marrickville giving us a rare look at the roots as well as conditions underneath ground level.

Street tree failure in Marrickville giving us a rare look at the roots, as well as conditions beneath ground level.

If you are like me you will have wondered at the living conditions for street trees beneath the ground.  Well, one fell over or was knocked over in Marrickville recently & all was revealed.  This poor tree, a spindly thing at around 6-metres by my calculations, has been sharing what little water & nutrition there is in the soil with asthma weed & by the looks of it, the weed was winning.

Looking at these photos it is easy to see why many of the street trees don’t do so well & why depaving around trees is a priority for a healthy urban forest.

I would also hope that it becomes the norm for residents to remove weeds from around street trees & not wait for Council to add mulch.  Most important is water, especially during the hotter months.

Street trees provide a number of benefits making it worthwhile to give them some care.  The page, ‘100 Tree Facts,’ lists more benefits, which you can access at the top of this blog.

Briefly, street trees catch particulate matter & air pollution helping to make the air you breathe of better quality. This is massively important if you live on or near a main road, as these pollutants are known to increase respiratory & cardiac illnesses in all ages & a higher rate of fatal heart attack in adults.

It is not an exaggeration to say that street trees are the foundation of public health.  Not the only foundation, but they are there at the beginning.

Street trees also provide shade, which will become more & more important as climate change starts taking effect.  Remember that day earlier this year when it reached 47 degrees in Marrickville?  Imagine being in a concrete environment without leafy street trees to help buffer that heat.  Concrete captures & retains heat & radiates it back, even after dark.

The house this tree is outside of is for sale. I can guarantee that prospective buyers will look at the street even before they enter the property.  A decent-sized healthy green street tree increases the property value of the house the tree is on front of, their direct neighbours, as well as across the road when in high-density areas like the Inner West.  You get ‘your’ street tree removed & you lower the value of a number of properties around you.

This is exactly how I found the tree.

This is exactly how I found the tree.  

Side view

Side view.  I think this is appalling growing conditions.

Street view

Street view.