Marrickville Council has given notification that they intend to remove a Hills Weeping Fig (Ficus macrocarpa var. hilli) at the Marrickville Youth Resource Centre, 23 Yabsley Avenue Marrickville.
They give the follow reason for removal –
“Tree is causing extensive damage to a significant structure where remediation of the damage cannot be achieved through reasonable and practicable means.”
Council says they will replace this tree with –
- 1 × 700L Port Jackson Fig (Ficus rubiginosa) within Jarvie Park,
- 3 × 75L Quandong (Elaeocarpus eumundii) as street trees adjacent to where the tree is being removed.
They do not say when the new trees will be planted.
I am angry with myself for not visiting & posting about this tree sooner, but then again, in the six years that I have been doing SoT, Council has removed all but three trees that they had marked for removal.
Marrickville Council says, “Tree is causing extensive damage to a significant structure,” but fails to mention that the structure is a low sandstone fence 40-cm high. The damage affects 2-metres of the fence.
There is absolutely no visible damage to the building, which has happily co-existed with the tree for many decades. In light of the lifting of this low stone fence by the surface roots of the tree, the only response that Marrickville Council has to offer is to kill the tree.
This tree has been a significant landmark of the neighbourhood. It is around 20-metres tall & is the home & food supply of much local wildlife.
It has a glorious canopy over the footpath & over the street. It literally defines the entrance to the park greeting young people who attend the Marrickville Youth Resource Centre. The benefits trees provide to young people are well documented.
It is a disastrous ideology against significant trees & biodiversity that chooses to remove the tree without looking for alternatives.
The first obvious alternative is that a 40-cm high fence pales into insignificance when compared with the many benefits this tree brings, both to people & to wildlife. Let’s not forget the carbon sequestration this tree performs for free either.
One obvious solution, if Marrickville Council is actually true to its word that it loves trees & values biodiversity, is to just ignore the fence & take the displaced stones away & let the roots be. There is no trip hazard.
The second alternative, if this 2-metre length of fence is important, is to retain both the fence & the tree. This option is cheaper than removing the tree & brings greater social benefit.
All Council needs to do is install a structural H-beam or a steel lintel just above the surface roots, install the same stones over the beam to make a reasonable match with the rest of the fence & secure the stones to the steel with metal rods.
I stress again, both the tree & the low fence can survive Council’s illogical decision-making process & live for many more decades happily together.
If you want to save this tree, submissions need to be sent to Marrickville Council urgently with copies sent to all Councillors. This can be done by one email & cc all the Councillors.
The deadline for submissions is tomorrow Monday 14th September 2015.
Contact details of Marrickville Council & the Councillors are as follows –
Marrickville Council – email@example.com
Mayor Mark Gardiner (Independent) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Deputy Mayor Clr Morris Hanna (Independent) – email@example.com
Clr Rosana Tyler (Liberal) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Clr Victor Macri (Independent)- email@example.com
Clr Sylvie Ellsmore (Greens)- firstname.lastname@example.org
Clr Max Phillips (Greens) – email@example.com
Clr David Leary (Greens) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Clr Melissa Brooks (Greens) – email@example.com
Clr Jo Haylen (ALP) firstname.lastname@example.org
Clr Chris Woods (ALP) – email@example.com
Clr Sam Iskandar (ALP) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Clr Daniel Barbar (ALP) – email@example.com