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I love the protective seating around the Brushbox trees where the Markets are held. The footpaths are new too.

The gates with the remnant tree visible in the middle of the photo

I recently visited the Addison Road Centre in Marrickville.  As soon as I drove in I noticed the lovely big gates.  Are they new? I think they are, but I could be wrong.

I don’t know whether the gates are new or not because my eyes are always drawn to the gorgeous gum tree at the front that is around 155-years-old.  Until relatively recently the area around the tree would have skips or other things waiting for collection.  Then the area was cleaned up & since then, not used for storage.  The gate is set well back from the tree, so the base is left free, which is a good for the health of the tree.

Once I drove into the Centre I could see that there have been big changes. The one I am most excited about is that the four old Queensland Brushbox trees that line the road opposite Reverse Garbage have been protected by a wooden seating structure that encases each trunk & protects the root zone directly around the tree.

The weekly markets have stalls set up beside & around these trees. Around 5,000 people attend the markets every weekend & while most people walk on the road, a lot  walk in the mulched area around these trees.  I have often wished these trees were protected, so I think this is an excellent move by the Centre.   Plus, these structures provide seating in the shade & that is always a boon in my opinion.

Footpaths have been installed in most of the areas beside the roads to facilitate safer pedestrian access.   Street signs have also been installed.  I only saw one sign called Vivi Koutsounadis on the road outside Reverse Garbage & Movember Lane on the road outside Stirrup Gallery.  I think it is nice to honour local citizens who have done much for the community.

Trove says the following about Vivi Koutsounadis. “Vivi Koutsounadis-Germanos is a Greek born psychologist and counsellor who helped to establish and now heads the Ethnic Childcare Development Unit based in Marrickville, Sydney, New South Wales. She has had a high level of involvement in the Sydney Greek Orthodox Community for several years and served as president of the Greek Orthodox Community of New South Wales in 2000. She helped to establish a national organisation for Greek Welfare Workers. She has also enjoyed an international profile as president of an international organisation of pre-school educators. In 2002, she went to the United Nations, where she lobbied the high commissioner of refugees about the need to tackle the problems experienced by children in detention. Order of Australia – Services to the community. HEROC Human Rights Medal.” See –  https://trove.nla.gov.au/people/753062?c=people

Heritage trail signs have been placed around the Centre grounds. Most of us know that there is history to the Addison Road Centre, but I imagine that many of us do not know a great deal of this history.  I confess I am one of those people. You can participate in a free guided tour every Friday morning starting at 10 am, except holidays. The tours start at the front gates & last 45 minutes.

Hut 1, the long building between the Marrickville Community Garden & The Bower, is now covered with solar panels.  It looks very impressive.

The area beneath the habitat tree now has 4 new trees. If allowed to grow tall, these will help by screening & making the wildlife that use the habitat tree feel safer.  The Centre has placed good information about the habitat tree at the base & this has been in place for quite a while now.  Two sculptures have been added to add interest.

The garden created for little birds is doing well.  It is opposite The Bower for those interested in having a look.

I am impressed by the Addison Road Centre’s obvious commitment to retaining their trees. To me it is the trees that make this a place that is very pleasant to be & it is the trees that I notice first.

That is a lot of solar panels.

New garden and trees around the Habitat Tree.

Heritage trail map

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Probably the first tree chair in Marrickville LGA.

Probably the first tree chair in Marrickville LGA.

Tucked away on the west side of the car park at the Addison Road Centre in Marrickville is a great example of retaining a part of a tree that needed to be removed, so that it lives on with another purpose, as well as continuing to benefit the environment.

The tree, that was a gorgeous mature Eucalypt, had decay at its base, probably caused by mechanical damage years ago.  When I originally saw the decay, I knew the tree would go, so was not surprised when I saw that it had been removed.  What did surprise me is what Addison Road Centre did with the tree.

The stump has been carved into a seat to take in the view of the beautiful trees, rather than face the car park.  I reckon this seat will be used often, especially during the weekly markets.  Also, the branches have been placed on the grass to form a border to the car park.

Adding wood to the environment is enormously beneficial.  The NSW Department of the Environment’s Scientific Committee, established by the Threatened Species Conservation Act, has listed removal of dead wood & dead trees as a ‘Key Threatening Process’ to the Australian environment.

In brief, the Scientific Committee has found that –

  • Removal of standing dead trees & woody debris on the ground caused by human activity is contributing to loss of biological diversity. This includes mulching wood & removing this from forests.  I think it would be fair to say a similar impact would happen in urban areas.
  • Local councils & other agencies also “tidy up” by removing dead wood & dead trees from their reserves & from along roadsides.”
  • Fallen or placed dead wood, as it is in this case, “provides important habitat for a suite of invertebrate species dependent on decaying wood for their survival. ……. Microbial organisms & fungi are also important in the breakdown of timber & recycling of nutrients back into the soil. Invertebrates can also feed on, or in wood-decomposing fungi.”

There is a push for local councils & the community to undergo a cultural change in their expectations for parks & other spaces to be tidy places.  This is because the tidiness actually removes habitat & food for a whole range of animals, birds, microorganisms, lichens, moss & fungi.

“The traditional urban green space is dominated by overly manicured garden-style spaces that do not necessarily benefit wildlife.  We should re-think this concept & get a bit messier in our parks by retaining some of the resources that are commonly frowned upon.” ~ Darren Le Roux – ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions.

Decaying wood also plays a role in carbon storage. The decay process transfers some of the carbon stored in the tree, back into the soil, instead of into the atmosphere, where we don’t want it.

I have read the following statement many times, “There is more life in a dead tree than a living one.”   It stands to reason that we need to keep as many dead trees in our environment as possible.   If, as in the case of this tree, it is not safe to keep the actual tree, then retaining both the trunk & the branches onsite, will do much to help the ecosystem & biodiversity in this area.

Well done Addison Road Centre. The chair is fun & a little bit quirky.  It’s great to see trees used in this way, rather than put through the mulching machine.   Plus this tree will go on benefiting the environment by supporting biodiversity for a few years to come & this is really good.  It sets a good example to us all.

Branches used to make the car park.

Branches used to edge the car park.

 

This beautiful tree at the entrance of the Addison Road Centre in Marrickville was recently assessed as being aged 150-years plus.   It would be a good contender.

This beautiful tree at the entrance of the Addison Road Centre in Marrickville was recently assessed as being aged 150-years plus. It would be a good contender for inclusion in the National Register of Significant Trees.

Next Sunday 27th July is National Tree Day.   To commemorate this day, the National Trusts of Australia has, in a world first, put together a national register of 25,000 significant trees.  Information about these trees will be available on a new website & also available as an app.  This means that you can look for significant trees while you are out traveling the country.

You can also nominate any tree that you think is significant.  The tree/s you nominate will be assessed by the Significant Trees Committee for each state ot territoty to see if they are suitable for inclusion in the Register.

This is not just about celebrating trees, but also about their protection.  A registered significant tree has a greater chance of being protected from development. Not always, but any tree is safer being on a National Trust Register.

To get a national map like this is very special & I predict that it will be a popular download both for residents & visitors to Australia.

The National Trust of Victoria has an excellent free app that maps & provides information on more than 24,000 significant trees in Victoria. I have long enjoyed perusing this app because of the photographs & often detailed information about the trees.  You can download this app here – https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/trust-trees/id426819442?mt=8

You can download the National Register of Significant Trees app on & after National Tree Day here – http://trusttrees.org.au

Truly wonderful tree in the Addison Road Centre

Truly wonderful tree in the Addison Road Centre

A pair of Gallahs live in this tree.

A pair of Galahs live in a natural hollow in this tree.

Around three months ago I noticed that the very tall tree (I think it is a Sydney Blue gum) next to the car park at the Addison Road Centre in Marrickville had been roped off.  My instant thought was that it must have dropped a branch & was roped off as it was to be chopped down.  I must say that I felt particularly sad about this, as not only is it a fabulously beautiful tree, but also because it is home to a pair of Galahs.

For various reasons I returned to the Addison Road Centre & each time noted that this tree was still standing.  Unable to quench my curiosity, I called them today & asked what was happening with the tree & whether it was to be removed.

To my delight the answer was a definite no.

Yes, it had dropped a branch as Eucalypts tend to do & so the Addison Road Centre called in a professional tree company to assess this tree.  They also had all the other trees on site assessed, as well as a Tree Inventory.  Apparently the report on their trees is 500 pages.

This tree had some pruning done. The area around the tree has been fenced off & there are signs on all sides of the tree asking people not to sit under the tree.

This is so wonderful. The Addison Road Centre is a busy place all week.  Every Sunday an average of 5,000 people visit the to go to the Growers Markets.  A fearful approach would have been to remove the tree. However, both the Addison Road Centre & the Arborists who assessed the tree did not feel this was necessary.

A fenced exclusion zone allows an important healthy habitat tree to be retained.  Not only would the wildlife benefit, but also the community.  This tree provides wonderful beauty.  It can be seen on the skyline.  It also produces flowers & provides great shade.  I am so happy & relieved that the Centre has taken this tree management approach.

The trees in the Addison Road Centre will be assessed annually & given the care that they need. Of interest, not one tree was removed after the Tree Inventory.

I’ve long noticed that trees in parks near the southern Sydney beaches have fences with warning signs not to stand underneath them. I’ve always thought this is a better approach to keep a perfectly healthy, mature tree & the benefits it provides.  It is terrific to see this approach happening in our own area.

One last thing – the Eucalypt at the front gate has been assessed as aged 150-years plus. How lovely to have a veteran tree at the entrance to this great estate that brings so much benefit to the community in so many different ways.

Well done Addison Road Centre.  I know I am not alone in taking great joy at the beauty of all the large old trees on the site.  It is wonderful & also reassuring to know that the Centre Management is ensuring that these trees are being cared for, as this will very likely improve their chances of living longer.

Signs on the tree

Signs on the tree

Same tree from a different vantage point

Same tree from a different vantage point

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