Today, Sunday 31st May 2015, Marrickville Council held a community-planting event just inside the perimeter of Marrickville Golf Course facing Beauchamp Street. Unfortunately I could not attend.
Two areas were planted. The area first planted out as part of Council’s National Tree Day in 2012 was extended. Further down the hill a larger area had a number of trees removed & the area mulched in preparation for this event.
I was pleased to see that six new trees were planted. Council said they were providing 1,200 plants for the day. Most plants are in the ground, but for whatever reason, there are pots waiting to be planted. This will be a nice job for someone from Council on Monday. Hopefully the weather will be good for them.
Council left the trunk standing of a tree they removed. This is great because the tree has a decayed area big enough for birds or microbats to take up residence. It appears three smaller hollows have been created making very nice apartment living for wildlife.
Of interest to me were the small piles of sandstone bits that had been collected from the immediate area. There are quite a few of these & I presume they are to provide habitat & refuge for small lizards, beetles & other insects. There are enough of these piles to provide connectivity across the newly planted area. This is something we could all do in our own gardens.
There are also logs scattered around from the trees that were removed. These, plus piles of twigs & small branches will also provide habitat for smaller creatures. There was at least one trunk cut flush to the ground & left to decay on its own.
Rotting logs are an essential part of the natural ecosystem & can be found all over forests where trees are left where they fall. Fallen logs not only help prevent soil erosion, they also replenish nitrogen to the soil as they decay. As the wood decays, fungi & lichens will sprout helping the wood to decay further & providing food for foraging animals & insects. The logs also help retain moisture & coolness in the ground making it suitable habitat for a range of creatures.
I have read that there is more life in a dead tree than a living tree, which shows just how important it is to place as many logs & branches as possible in the environment. This includes our own gardens.
Anyone who has ever lifted up a piece of dead wood or a rock & seen the life scatter from the exposure to light knows this to be true. Marrickville Council has been placing logs from tree removals in some of our parks over the last year or so & this is pleasing to see. Doing this provides far more benefit to the environment than mulching the trees.
Hopefully the community will grow to viewing these logs & piles of twigs & branches as integral & vital to a healthy ecosystem & not something untidy. I will get really excited if Council ever starts placing dead trees in the Cooks River, especially if they have branches on them that allow the waterbirds to sit & do what they do naturally.
Beauchamp Street is fortunate in that it faces Marrickville Golf Course. Now that this area has been planted it already looks much improved. Given time for the plants & trees to grow, this aspect for the residents will be very beautiful indeed.
I almost forgot to say that a park bench has been placed under a tree & overlooks a downhill section of the golf course. Council has not added a concrete slab, which is excellent. I doubt too many will mind their feet resting on soft mulch. The placing of this bench is great & it was a surprise to see.
Well done Marrickville Council & those community members who helped put all the plants in the ground today. I think it looks great & cannot wait to see how much it has improved in a few months time. There were plenty of birds checking out your work while we were there.