The fantastic & much loved row of Poplar trees at Mackey Park.  On the left are the two Mackey Park Fig trees.

The fantastic & much loved row of Poplar trees at Mackey Park. On the left are the two Mackey Park Fig trees.

The Macky Park Poplars from across the river.  All the Poplar trees along the river can be seen from some distance.  I believe they are iconic to Marrickville's section of the Cooks River.

The Mackey Park Poplars from across the river. All the Poplar trees along the river can be seen from some distance. I believe they are iconic to Marrickville’s section of the Cooks River.

I reported on a number of occasions about Council’s intention to remove the poplar trees at Mackey Park.  I first heard this from a staff member at the opening of the Mackey Park on 9th December 2010.

I wrote, These trees are being considered for the chopping block because there is belowground infrastructure here & because the soil is poor.  I don’t know enough about the issues to present an argument at this stage.  Just be aware that Council is thinking of removing them.”    I have waited & waited.

In December 2010 a Poplar tree between Mackey Park & Steel Park lost a large branch due to boring insect damage.  I was told this tree was to be removed, but somehow it is still standing there today. See –http://bit.ly/1dneE7L

In January 2011 I wrote about the problem on boring insects affecting the trees of Mahoney Reserve.  Boring insects had also made their way almost to Mackey Park evident by the previous month’s limb drop.  See – http://bit.ly/1cOo9B6

In November 2012  – I mentioned again the planned removal of the poplar trees at Mackey Park.  See  – http://bit.ly/1dYWAkd

Yesterday, 3rd February 2014, a post was made on Facebook about the rumour of the removal the Poplars at Mackey Park.  I contributed what I had previously been told by Council.  The discussion clearly expressed community opposition to the removal of these trees.

Here is the great news –

Marrickville Council posted on Facebook –

“I’m very happy to let you know that Council has no plans to remove these trees at Mackey Park.

There are plans to remove approx six poplars at HJ Mahoney Reserve around May/June this year. An independent arborist has assessed that they have a significant amount of internal decay and are dropping limbs. Council is currently undertaking consultation with the Cooks River and Environment Committee and will be seeking broader community comment closer to the date.

Please know that the ONLY reason council would consider removing a tree is if it poses a risk to life or property, leaf drop or messy characteristics are never a consideration for removal.  We LIKE trees – honest! Our aim is to increase the canopy.” 

After 3-years of waiting I can now not feel any angst when I ride under these trees as I often do.

I am hoping Council takes it a step further though, as it appears that boring insects have affected a number of the Poplars.  This infestation is treatable, so to my mind, it is a good use of money to do what can be done to save the trees, than allow these destructive insects to continue their travels through the golf course and up through to Mackey Park.

When these six trees Council mentioned are removed it will make a loss of twelve Poplar trees in Mahoney Reserve since 2010.  I think an urgent investment is needed to plant at least the number lost, so that the particular unique & iconic qualities that the Poplars scheme creates along the river is maintained in the long term.  Sparse canopy gum trees will not have the same spectacular & beneficial effect as Poplars at that location.

The Poplars at Mahoney Reserve - a feature of the Cooks River

The Poplars at Mahoney Reserve – a unique feature of the Cooks River

Next door to Mahoney Reserve is Steel Park.  The Poplar trees make a massive contribution to both the beauty & experience of this park.

Next door to Mahoney Reserve is Steel Park. The Poplar trees make a massive contribution to both the beauty & experience of this park.

There is an avenue of Poplar trees in a section between Mackey Park & Steel Park.  These trees make it a joy to be in this area.

There is an avenue of Poplar trees in a section between Mackey Park & Steel Park. These trees make it a joy to be in this area.

 

 

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