Stunning flower of a Eucalyptus caesia growing in Sydney Park.  There is such a large variety of trees growing in this park.

Stunning Eucalyptus caesia flower in Sydney Park. The flower is very large.  There is such a large variety of trees growing in this park.

1. Not about trees, but about dumping that affects us all – Last week Shoalhaven City Council Rangers showed what being a Ranger is all about when they knocked on a resident’s door to give them a $750 fine as well as a directive to pick up all the rubbish they dumped near Narrawallee Beach.  The resident would have been issued with a further $440 fine if they had refused to clean up their rubbish.

2.  Very sad news.  The Vincent Tree, a 65-metre Flooded gum that lives beside Bruxner Park Road in the Orara East State Forest at Coffs Harbour lost its top half in a recent storm.  The tree is thought to be between 400 – 500 years old. “The Vincent Tree would have been a large tree when Captain Cook sailed up the coast,” the Forestry Corporation’s Community Partnership Forester David Wilson said.”  Being full of hollows it was a major habitat tree.  Let’s hope they leave what is left standing, even if they need to brace it to make it safe.  I think it is still very special, even if half has gone.  Let’s be like the UK & keep our very old trees.

3.  An exhibition called City of Trees by Jyll Bradley is showing at the National Library until October 7th 2013 as part of Canberra’s Centenary celebrations.  ”I think trees create different spaces in life. They create a practical space in terms of architecture & how we move around the city. They also create an emotional space, they create a spiritual space … & imaginative spaces as well, & in that regard I’m trying to echo that sentiment, if you like, within the exhibition.”

The article spoke about trees so beautifully. Here is yet another example.

“… every tree has a human story to tell, & this is particularly the case in Canberra. The city grew up out of one million trees planted in what was once compared to a sheep paddock, & which now, 100 years later, is more like a forest with a city emerging through it.  And whether they know it or not, every resident of Canberra has a favourite treescape, even if they associate it more with the quality of the light that shines through the naked boughs of an inner-northern suburb in winter, the shade cast by an apple tree in the garden, or a strand of pines glimpsed on the parkway between Tuggeranong & Civic.”  Isn’t it wonderful to be able to write about the urban forest in this way.

4.  This is a lovely article about Fatima Island, the little island visible from the bridge over the Cooks River on the Princes Highway & from Kendrick Park.  It was written by the Cooks River Valley Association, with an excerpt from another article written by the Marrickville Heritage Society (both in the Blogroll).  It is an interesting read covering the history of the island.  Fatima Island has been getting smaller.  A Casuarina tree at the western edge of the island has most of its roots exposed through erosion & is in danger of falling.  “Currently under threat from flooding, erosion & visits of thoughtless people, this precious bird sanctuary & heritage site is in urgent need of support at both community & official level.”  So who is responsible for the upkeep of Fatima Island?  Marrickville Council? Canterbury Council? Both or some other authority entirely?  If so, surely the Councils would be responsible for notifying that authority?  The island is very important.  It is the only place where birds can sit in natural habitat on the river as is their normal behaviour.  Fatima Island is the last remaining island of several on the Cooks River.  It is a bird sanctuary, the only one on the whole length of the river.  It’s time for something to be done before this lovely piece of environmental history is lost forever.  I made a short video of Fatima Island & its birds here –

5.  It’s been over 2-years since a halt was put to building the Greenway, a bush corridor along the Light Rail line offering a safe off-road route for walkers & cyclists from the Cooks River to Iron Cove.  This article covers the history of obstacles. “…despite hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on reports & analysis, & opportunities to get developers to contribute.”  Ms Gladys Berejiklian, Minister for Transport for NSW says plans for a cheaper ‘holistic strategy’ Greenway will be finished this year.

6. Prime koala habitat in an undeveloped section of Henderson Park Estate in Tinana near Maryborough Queensland was cleared this week without warning & apparently without a native fauna spotter-catcher on-site.  A Koala Rescue volunteer said the bushland was home to 40 threatened, endangered or vulnerable species, including Koalas.  The Deputy Mayor of Fraser Coast George Seymour said, “… the developer of Henderson Park had a clearing permit that met with council & state government legislation. However, the council was looking into allegations that it had breached its permit, including a claim that a native fauna spotter-catcher was not on-site during the clearing.”  Also investigating the clearing are the Department of Environment & Heritage Protection.

7.  American-based company Hancock Farms in Dunoon near Lismore Northern NSW removed a row of Tallowwood trees known to be Koala trees. A Koala was killed in 2011 after removing other windbreak trees on Hancock Farms.  The President of Friends of the Koala said, “It’s devastating for koalas because they rely on those windbreaks. There is nothing else for them.”  Koalas can’t eat the leaves of Macadamia trees.

The Koala Research Collaboration Project website Koala Land says –

  • “more than 80% of original koala habitat has been cleared.
  • the remaining koala habitat is under threat from urban development, agriculture & forestry.
  • Around 80% of present day koala habitat is privately owned land, so… it is very difficult to protect koala habitat.
  • A number of koala specialists have said that the Koala Coast of South East Queensland will have no koalas left in the next five years.
  • With some koala population estimates suggesting that there are as little as 43,000 koalas left Australia wide, it doesn’t take much imagination to realise how grave the situation has become.”

8.  A study by researchers from the Centre for Excellence in Climate System Science at the University of NSW has found that the urban heat island effect from “ever more asphalt & concrete will amplify climate change, particularly in the suburban fringes,” with parts of Australian cities up to 3.7 degree hotter by 2050.  That is a big increase in temperature. ”The changes are noticeable all through the year, but they are especially marked during winter & spring, when minimum temperature increases over these areas could actually double the increase due to global warming alone by 2050.”  Hard surfaces like concrete footpaths, buildings & roads absorb heat during the day & release this heat during the night.  The urban heat island effect is one of the reasons why we need to rethink installing concrete footpaths & driveways & ask are they necessary in this location?  Their effects are cumulative, so each new area of concrete does add to the overall load.   The researchers recommended planting more trees, creating more parks & ponds to try & lessen the impact.

9. Marrickville Council have agreed with a recommendation by the Cooks River Committee to have Kendrick Park in Tempe as a future swimming site.  I think this is wonderful as it means Council are prepared to put some serious work, money & collaboration into cleaning up the river. Not only will this be good for people, but it will be great for wildlife who deserve better living conditions.

10.  Bradbury & Colonial Avenues & George & Dumaresq Streets Campbelltown are looking worse for wear after a visit from power company Endeavour Energy.  Campbelltown’s streets once lined with healthy green trees are yet again home to sparse, spindly trunks with branches that jut around power lines at bizarre angles.”  The power company’s pruning techniques were described as “gruesome mass hacking & gut-wrenching, like seeing a mutilated animal.” The power company said the pruning was for safety reasons & “the majority of pruning was in accordance with our standards.”  The majority?  The comments to this article are very interesting.

Wattle is flowering now.

Wattle is flowering now.