The yellow dot marks the tree to be removed.

The yellow dot marks the tree to be removed.

Marrickville Council has given notification of their intention to remove an Argyle Apple (Eucalyptus cineria) outside 7 Unwins Bridge Road St Peters.

They give the following reasons for removal –

  • “Council recently engaged an external consult to undertake a Picus® Sonic Tomograph Test on the tree which revealed extensive internal decay from termite attack. This has compromised structural integrity of the tree.
  • The tree poses an unacceptable level of risk to the public and property.”

Council says they will replace with a Manchurian Pear (Pyrus ussuriensis) as part of the 2016 Street Tree Planting Program.

The Manchurian Pear is a deciduous ornamental tree that grows to approximately 9-metres tall by 7-metres wide. Their leaves turn red in autumn & they produce small white flowers in late winter to early spring.  The tree produces inedible, greenish-yellow, globose fruit up to 3 cm in diameter.

As far as I am aware these trees have no benefit to wildlife, though perhaps the bees like the flowers.

Gardening Australia says the following about Manchurian Pear trees –

The tree has inherent branch weaknesses, which means that it can fall apart & in a home garden that’s a considerable safety problem. The biggest problem is included bark, which is where the bark grows into the junction between the branches, and means you don’t really get good, firm attachment. The result is that the branch has simply peeled off and broken. Although good bark is produced to heal the wound, it’s still an unsightly feature and unsafe when the branch breaks.
 Another problem is a V-crotch or an acute branch structure. It’s where one branch has grown quickly and with the weight of foliage it acts like a lever and that can easily lead to a break.”  See –

There are no powerlines on this side of Unwins Bridge Road, so there is room for taller trees.  The line of Paperbark street trees mixed with the Argyle apples looks wonderful in my opinion, but these are slowly being replaced with pear trees.

Marrickville Council appears to be using these trees along main roads, though in contrast they are also planting the native Queensland Brush Box trees along major roads.   I personally do not like the ornamental pear trees because I think they create a bleak landscape for 5-7 months of the year. The Brushbox supports wildlife & to me, planting for biodiversity should be a priority.

The deadline for submissions is Friday 14th August 2015.