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London has 4.4-million trees calculated to be worth $1.5-billion. The trees remove $4.5-million pollution annually, provide $1.7-million in energy savings & provide $10.3-million annual value from reducing greenhouse gases – a whopping 48,500 tonnes of CO2.  London’s trees work hard.

“About 87% of all London trees are in parks, natural areas & low-density residential areas.  78% are in good to excellent condition, 11% are poor to fair, 11% are dead. The three most common species in London are buckthorn, eastern white cedar & sugar maple.  There are 126 species, about 50% of which are native to Ontario. Three leafiest species are Norway maple, sugar maple & black walnut. At chest height, 77.5% of London trees are less than 15 cm (six inches) in diameter. London’s trees can be considered a carbon bank, storing 360,000 tonnes of carbon. See – http://www.lfpress.com/news/london/2012/05/06/19723801.html

Many of the street trees in Despointes Street Marrickville were pruned recently & are a shadow of their former selves.

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Beautiful Maundrell Park in Stanmore is filled with really significant trees.

The City of Melbourne is doing what I have wanted to happen here for a long time – putting a dollar value on their public trees.  They are using the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show as an opportunity to educate visitors of the value of the trees in Carlton Gardens, where the show is being held.

The trees in the southern section only of Carlton Gardens are worth nearly $6 million.  Not all the trees in this section have been valued, so the final total would be higher.  This dollar amount gives the community a snapshot, which they can mentally transfer to individual trees, the other many large parks in Melbourne & suburbs as well as their long avenues of large street trees.

i-Tree Eco software is being used to calculate the value of each tree.  I have written about this free downloadable software previously.  See – https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2011/01/28/calculating-the-dollar-value-of-trees/  & https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/itree-version-4-0/

“The trial application of i-Tree in Carlton Gardens South has shown that around 300 trees remove around 242 kgs of air pollution a year, currently store 620,000 kgs of carbon & sequester 9,500 kgs of carbon each year. Best performing species appears to be Ficus macrophylla & some of the Ulmus species also provide high value. The calculation of the value takes into account several factors including ground cover area, leaf area & leaf biomass, as well as height & size of each tree.  There is growing recognition of the importance of the ‘urban forest’ – that is all the trees & shrubs on both private & public land – to our health & wellbeing in many ways, both physically & emotionally. This importance will be enhanced as we can now put an economic value on the urban forest.”

The Cook Island pine in Marrickville South is another significant tree of high value

When the community recognise that the street tree out front is worth hundreds if not thousands of dollars & that its presence translates into raising the value of their property or street, they will be (hopefully) less likely to mistreat the tree & more likely to look after it.  New tree plantings will be less likely to be removed or sabotaged.

Prior to their poisoning, the 2 beautiful mature Hill’s Figs in Margaret Street Dulwich Hill not only provided massive health & environmental benefits to the local area, they also significantly raised the value of housing both in Margaret Street & nearby streets as well.

One Fig tree in Carlton Gardens was valued at $60,000 so we can reasonably say that the poisoning of the 2 mature Hills; Figs in Margaret Street Dulwich Hill robbed the local community & the greater community of Marrickville LGA of public assets worth around $120,000.  Those who are lucky enough to have a large landmark tree near their property reap many more benefits than those who have a small tree or worse, concrete only outside their property.

Trees are worth big bucks & this demonstration in Carlton Gardens will likely shock many people who have never thought of trees as being an economic asset.  If people realised the monetary gain to their own property, they would think seriously before poisoning a street tree due to leaf litter, wildlife, shade or some other reason.

Hopefully Marrickville Council will do similar calculations as part of the upcoming tree inventory, so that we can have local examples that schools & Council can use to educate & engage the community.

As well as the article there is a map of Carlton Gardens South at the following link showing the dollar value of each tree. If you zoom the screen a number of times the map is easier to read. –  http://www.plantlifebalance.com.au/more-trees-please/trees-shading-visitors-to-melbourne-international-flower-garden-show-valued-at-nearly-6-million/

Enmore Park is filled with significant & what I would consider historic trees. Notice the group of people sitting in the shade with no-one sitting in the sun. This photo was taken March 2012.

Yesterday I was told of 2 Fig trees that had been poisoned.  They are both mature Hill’s Figs & are significant street trees on Margaret Street very near the corner of Wardell Road Dulwich Hill.

You may remember that some residents wanted these trees removed a couple of years ago.  Thankfully Marrickville Council refused to comply with their wishes.  I remember these trees well because they were part of the reason why I decided to start SoT.  So here we are, 2 years later & someone has decided to poison them.  It’s such a shame.

Both of the Fig trees have many drill holes. The white drips are probably the poison. Click to enlarge.

Multiple large holes have been drilled into the base of the trunk & into the surface roots in both trees. The holes are easily visible to the naked eye.  Liquid poison was then poured into the holes.

Both trees are rapidly losing their leaves & their trunks are splitting in places.  They look gravely ill & if trees feels pain, these ones would be in agony.

I wrote to Marrickville Council who said that they are doing their best to remediate the trees.  If they are unsuccessful & the trees die, they are considering leaving the trees as they are until the decay is such that they have to be removed.  Maybe they will only remove a few branches for safety.  Maybe they will leave the trunks standing.  What they will not be doing is removing the trees anytime in the near future.  I doubt this is what the vandal is expecting.

The Figs are visible on the skyline on Wardell Road.  Margaret Street itself has 5 Hill’s Figs as street trees.  They are all growing in ample space in a lawn, which is green & without bare patches, so it must get adequate sunlight. The only concrete is to private garages.  The footpath is old bricks & would be permeable.  There is plenty of room for pedestrians & the trees have been pruned so they do not encroach on the houses.

This is one of the remaining 3 Fig trees on Margaret Street Dulwich Hill. It is very healthy as are the other trees. Compare this tree with the poisoned tree at the bottom of this post. The differences are profound.  Click to enlarge.

The trees make Margaret Street beautiful. If these trees die, it will most definitely have a negative impact by significantly lowering the property value of those close to the vandalized trees. Margaret Street is one of those streets where you go “Ahh…” as you drive or walk through it.  Nice old houses, wide green verges & beautiful Fig trees.  The birds would have loved these trees.  The other Fig trees are developing fruit at the moment.

Both trees have these signs on them.  Click to enlarge

Marrickville Council has attached signs on both sides of the trees asking for any information that will help them catch the vandal.  No Council would be happy to lose major tree assets, especially with the community calling for more street trees. Less than 2 years ago, Newcastle’s Laman Street Figs were valued at $71,420 each. I cannot think of any reason why a tree of similar size & of the same species would be valued any differently because it is in Dulwich Hill & not Newcastle.  So for Margaret Street, that would be around $142,800 worth of trees vandalised.

I could rave on about how selfish this act is. I won’t bother. What some people don’t realize is how steep the fines are for tree vandalism.  This is because it is an illegal act & because trees are valuable assets worth real money.  Street trees belong the whole community, not just the near properties or the street where they are.  The community expects Council to look after them, but how can they if our best trees are poisoned in such a sneaky & thorough manner.

Needless to say the local community is devastated.  They are also very angry.

Do you have any ideas about what you would like to see done with the trees & the space where the trees are?  If trees have been vandalized in order to enhance one’s views, some Councils install shipping containers in the their place to defeat the purpose of the vandal: The containers block the desired views for a long time after the trees are gone. We must change the culture where individuals think it is okay to kill public trees.  email your ideas & as long as they are G Rated & I will share them here & pass them on to Council – without your name of course. savingourtrees@gmail.com

I have made a short YouTube video of the trees – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ab-Ij7R-Zk

One of the poisoned Hill’s Figs In Margaret Street Dulwich Hill. This tree has lost almost all its leaves 

There is an article in last week’s Inner West Courier about Ian Moss, Cold Chisel guitarist & Annandale resident, “saddened by the loss of an 80-year-old tree he dubbed the “queen of the block” in Pritchard Lane after it was poisoned & had to be cut down last week.”  The 28-metre (91.8 feet) Eucalypt was growing in the back garden of a nearby property so someone had to sneak in to someone else’s private property to poison the tree. I find this appalling & slightly scary. Imagine not knowing who of your neighbours poisoned your tree. I imagine it would erode any trust or friendship.

According to the article in the Inner West Courier, vandalism to trees has been growing in the Inner West.  The article was also posted on FaceBook, which is where I saw it.  After leaving a comment I received the following reply.   

“According to Marrickville Council there have been 9 requests to Council to investigate reports of tree poisoning in the last 12 months. There have been 19 requests to Council to investigate reports of tree poisoning in the 12 months prior.  Marrickville Council also said it does not consider tree poisoning to be a major issue in the area.  I thank the Inner West Courier for sharing this information.

I was shocked when I read this. How can Marrickville Council not consider the poisoning of 28 trees across Marrickville LGA to be a major issue?  Is it because they think the numbers are low or because they have greater issues regarding trees to deal with? 

Eucalypt - a familiar street tree in some parts of Petersham

How many other trees were poisoned, but not reported?  Quite a few people will not be prepared to report on their neighbour.  I am presuming that the 28 trees poisoned were large trees.  Large trees can be worth thousands of dollars to Councils in green infrastructure.  Many Councils consider trees to be major assets & even give them a dollar value.

When people refer to the ‘Leafy Suburbs,’ they are connecting an environment that has a significant green canopy to big money & financial affluence.  People with money like to live in areas that are beautiful & trees provide this.  Areas with few trees are regarded as poorer, less desirable places to live.  Any real estate agent will say the same thing.

Taking this into consideration & the fact that it takes decades for a tree to grow to a significant size & provide the most use to the community & the environment in terms of stormwater uptake, erosion management, carbon sequestration, pollution capture, oxygen production & other things, how can the loss of any tree by vandalism not be regarded as a major issue?  Any tree lost is a loss to the community. Some mature trees do have to go because of disease & decline, but a healthy tree to be secretly poisoned is unnecessary loss caused solely by the selfishness of one to another.

Ian Moss is grieving for a tree that was not on his property. He could only see the tree.  This shows that people connect to trees in the street, in the gardens of others & on the horizon.  If you are like me you will have favourite trees that you always look at when you drive past even thought the tree is far away from your home.  In this house we often say that we are almost home because of the trees that we pass. The vandal did not improve things for anyone else, but themselves.

Back in February 2011 Waverley Council took a man to court because they could prove that he vandalized a tree. He received a hefty $19,000 fine.  I can bet that almost everyone in Waverley LGA knows that they take on a huge risk if they damage trees. This is the same for Leichhardt LGA where a friend repeatedly says, “You wouldn’t get permission to remove that tree here.” Yet, here in Marrickville LGA, by Council’s own admission, 95% of requests to remove a tree are processed with a tick, even when it is significant, historic streetscape & habitat for a critically endangered native animal.  In Leichhardt LGA trees are not removed if they drop branches. They often are in Marrickville LGA.

http://inner-west-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/attack-on-cold-chisel-guitarist-ian-mosss-loved-tree/

Marrickville Street tree

The trees in Ecology Park in the Ashburnham Drive green space at Ecology Park Peterborough US have price tags hanging off the trees as a way to educate the community about the value of trees.  Each tag provides information about the tree’s approximate worth during a 50-year life span.

Green Up’s landscape program says each tree provides “$162,000 in goods & services to city dwellers.”  The tags say –

  • Oxygen generation is worth $31,250
  • Air pollution control is worth $62,000
  • Water recycling is worth $37,500 &
  • Soil erosion control is worth $31,250

All prices are in US dollars.  Along with the article there is a 1.12-second video showing the trees & the price tags.

An ag-pipe helps get water down to the roots

It’s a simple idea & a great way to engage the community.  Marrickville Council could think about implementing something like this.  If it were me, I’d hang a waterproof tag from every new tree planted outlining in a few languages the monetary & health benefits this tree brings to the immediate community, especially the impact a good street tree has on increasing the value of nearby properties.

I would use financial examples that relate to the people themselves rather than the overall benefit to Council as was done in Peterborough.  The people in the US generally have a greater appreciation & love for street trees than Australia as evidenced by the hugely attended Arbor Day activities across the country.  Instead I’d briefly list the tree’s positive impact on lowering cooling & heating costs, on respiratory & cardiac health, on their kids learning & on the increase to the value of their property.  I’d be prepared to wager that vandalism would decrease & people may be prepared to give the tree some water now & then during hot summer months or periods of drought.

To write it in ‘Marrickville Matters’ is great. To actually put it out on the street would be even greater as there are likely to be very few people who wouldn’t investigate the presence of a tag hanging from a new street tree & have a read.  How about taking it further & have the young people paint a good-looking mural about the value of street trees in a couple of public places as well.  http://peterboroughexaminer.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3060128

Beauchamp Street Marrickville looking towards Mahoney Reserve

Heritage Canary Island Palms in Marrickville

Davey Tree Expert Company must be feeling really happy at the moment.  i-tree, a software program, they designed with the US Forest Service & released to the market in 2006 has become an item of huge interest over the last couple of months. Deservedly so too, as the program is a fantastically useful tool that can be downloaded by anyone free of charge. Instruction manuals can be downloaded free of charge as well.

Tree Hugger has recently written about the i-tree software as well as a number of other high profile green websites. There is much excitement in the media about i-tree. This surprised me because the i-tree software has been around for nearly 5-years.  The recent interest clearly demonstrates an attitude that is pro street tree.

i-tree can be used to calculate the value of a single tree or the value of the trees across a whole city.  It can be used a teaching tool by schools or as a professional assessment tool by councils, industry, arborists, landscape architects, anyone really.

“The i-Tree software suite v. 3.0 includes two flagship urban forest analysis tools & three utility programs.

  • i-Tree Eco provides a broad picture of the entire urban forest. It is designed to use field data from randomly located plots throughout a community along with local hourly air pollution & meteorological data to quantify urban forest structure, environmental effects, & value to communities.

  • i-Tree Streets focuses on the ecosystem services & structure of a municipality’s street tree population. It makes use of a sample or complete inventory to quantify & put a dollar value on the trees’ annual environmental & aesthetic benefits, including energy conservation, air quality improvement, carbon dioxide reduction, stormwater control, & property value increases.

  • i-Tree Species Selector is a free-standing utility designed to help urban foresters select the most appropriate tree species based on environmental function & geographic area.

  • i-Tree Storm helps you to assess widespread community damage in a simple, credible, & efficient manner immediately after a severe storm. It is adaptable to various community types & sizes & provides information on the time & funds needed to mitigate storm damage.

  • i-Tree Vue (Beta) allows you to make use of freely available national land cover data maps to assess your community’s land cover, including tree canopy, & some of the ecosystem services provided by your current urban forest. The effects of planting scenarios on future benefits can also be modelled.”

To access the i-tree software program, go to – www.itreetools.org

The instruction manuals can be downloaded here – http://www.itreetools.org/resources/manuals.php

Stunning Fig tree in Dulwich Hill

There is another free computer modeling program developed by the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service in the late 1990s called Urban Forest Effects or UFORE.  UFORE calculates the structure & environmental effects of the urban forest as well as the dollar value of the urban forest. http://www.ufore.org/

Then there is STRATUM designed by the US Forest Service & released in 2005 –

“STRATUM is a new street tree management & analysis tool for urban forest managers that uses tree inventory data to quantify the dollar value of annual environmental & aesthetic benefits: energy conservation, air quality improvement, CO2 reduction, stormwater control, & property value increase. It’s an easy to use, computer-based program. It allows any community to conduct a street tree inventory. The baseline data provided can be used to effectively manage the resource, develop policy & set priorities. Using a sample or an existing inventory of street trees, this software allows managers to evaluate current benefits, costs, & management needs.”

The New York City Parks Department used STRATUM to value their 600,000 street trees at US$122 million. This was 5 times the value of yearly maintenance.  The City of Pittsburgh calculated in 2005 that it received US$2.94 in benefits for every US$1 sent on its urban forest. The monetary benefit would likely have increased because, as trees grow, their benefits across all areas increase. For example, a tree with a 76 cm-diameter removes 70 times more pollution per year than does a tree with a 7.5 cm diameter trunk. Around 1.5 tons of CO2 are sequestered from the air & stored for every ton of new wood that grows.

CITYGreen, is another program. CITYGreen analyzes the ecological & economic value of trees in relationship to storm water management, energy conservation, carbon storage & air pollution. This desktop GIS software package requires a tree inventory as well as baseline data for each tree & the area, including impervious surfaces.

One of the many beautiful Fig trees in Marrickville Golf Course

GIS-based Trans-Agency Resources for Environmental & Economic Sustainability (T.R.E.E.S.) developed by Treepeople in Los Angles focuses not only on trees, but ecological stormwater management.

There are other urban forest software programs but these 5 give an idea of what is out there.  Urban forest computer assessment tools are a relatively recent development. Trees are being recognised as much more valuable than was realized in the past.

City planners & local governments are recognizing the many benefits of the urban forest.  This in turn will mean more trees will planted in the right place, looked after & not just planted in poor conditions & left to fend for themselves.  It will also mean that biophysical hazards as a result of urbanization, such as air, ground & water pollution, the Urban Heat Island Effect, carbon sequestration & storage & flash flooding will be managed in a sustainable manner.

Instead of trees being seen as just trees or even worse, pests that can be hacked into or removed at a whim, they will finally be recognized as the very valuable resources that they really are. That an increased canopy saves money for Councils will also be recognized & trees will be protected. Hopefully, this will also mean the deliberate increasing of not only the urban forest, but the planting or larger, shade producing trees as a preference, not just small trees that have limited value.

Mackey Park tree in the late afternoon

Community tree preservation groups Save Our Figs Wauchope & Save Our Figs Group have a big fight on their hands with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council who intend to remove 13 Fig trees in the town centre “to prevent future damage to private property & public infrastructure.” The roots of the Fig trees are presenting a trip hazard & 3 residents have complained of damage to their property they say was caused by the trees.

These 2 massive Figs next to Marrickville Youth Resources Centre enhance the building & the area.

Thing is, the Council have just completed major works on the streets with the trees described as the centerpiece.  Importantly, 3 years ago the community fought to retain these trees & won.

Now the threat of litigation has reared its head & if history is anything to go by, a very small number of people are going to get their way & have the trees removed.  Council can’t take the risk that people will start litigation in the future.

A couple of days ago I posted that Goondiwindi Regional Council chopped down healthy Fig trees despite community opposition.  It’s the same story.  Now that the trees are gone, the Council has made the decision to spend $96,000 on floating footpaths.  They are doing this now because they, “understand how important these trees are to residents.”

Using floating footpaths means the trees can grow normally. There is no need to cut off or shave down roots, nor cover them in bitumen.  Nor will they need to chop the trees down because of a trip hazard or damage to footpaths. Seems like sensible spending to me.  Given that any large healthy tree can be worth around $100,000, spending money to keep them is a good economic decision.

This Fig is literally holding the building up. There is no visible damage to the exterior of the building

The large street trees in the centre of both these towns are what bring beauty & a sense of place. The towns use their street trees as a tourist draw card.  The Fig trees also provide a tangible history & are held dear by most of the community.

Take the trees away & you have substantially changed a place. Not only have you removed things that are worth a great deal of money & with 13 Figs we are talking in excess of a million dollars, but their loss will have an impact on spending in the shops. Researchers have concluded 11% more money is spent in shopping areas where there are big healthy shady trees.  To their credit Port Macquarie-Hastings Council plans to replace the Figs with 11 advanced Brush Box trees.

My question is why don’t Councils or organizations take pre-emptive action on their big trees when the trees are in areas that could damage property or cause trip hazards?  Ultimately it is worth the financial outlay when one considers how much these trees are worth in a monetary sense. Then there are all the other factors to take into consideration, history, place, future, community cohesion (fights like these in small towns could escalate into severe divisions), trust in the Council/organisation & stating the obvious, climate change.

These roots have infiltrated a parking area. I found it interesting is to see that the roots didn't travel far from the tree despite its size. It has been like this for years & the tree is still healthy even though cars park on the roots, proving it is unnecessary to remove a tree when this happens. It might look unsightly, but the tree itself is gorgeous.

Root barriers can be put in place.  Sewerage & water pipes can be replaced with pipes that can’t be invaded by tree roots or re-routed & be done with the problem forever. In Canada, they use a system that allows pipes to be replaced without digging, disturbing or damaging tree roots. They use a water flushing vacuum system to remove the soil from around the roots, pipes or wires, then install the new pipes & put the soil back in.

You don’t even need to put in concrete foundations near a tree when you are building anymore.  Again in Canada, they insert giant steel screw piles into the ground that are just as stable as concrete foundations & require no digging.

There is also a high-density plastic grid system that I have seen used in Sydney.  Once laid over the ground the grid disperses the weight of vehicles over a larger area. The grid also prevents soil compaction, which can damage roots.  Best of all, the grid allows rainwater to permeate the soil, reducing the need for irrigation & improves storm-water management. Ground cover or other plants can be grown in the spaces within the grid.

The grid also prevents soil erosion. I can see these grids used to support riverbanks & to create cement-free car parks. They could also be used to channel water into the ground near a street tree rather than be wasted by pouring down drains.  There is no reason why a section of the gutter cannot be a grid.

There is also porous concrete used across City of Sydney & North Sydney Councils.  Porous concrete provides a seamless surface allowing people to walk across it, but still captures any rainwater that falls on it, watering the tree.

There are quite a number of beautiful Figs in Marrickville LGA & many of them are planted near buildings. Unfortunately many of these trees live in less than perfect conditions with cement & bitumen almost to the base of their trunk. Many have cars & trucks parked right next to them. As we have seen, it is only a matter of time before branches get gouged or broken off by trucks.

Canary Island Palms line Graham Avenue Marrickville. I hope these trees are heritage protected.

The only reason why money isn’t spent on protecting trees before problems start is that trees are not held in high importance or the Council is so strapped for money that understandably, urban forest issues get moved down the list of priorities.

Many Councils do hold their trees in high esteem & look after them. They use floating footpaths & permeable rubber surfaces or permeable ‘solid’ surfaces. They put garden beds around trees to prevent or limit the amount of vehicles that can park under them. They put ‘no parking’ signs for vehicles over a certain size & weight & they do other things like prune dead branches & normal die back. They probably feed them occasionally as well.

I would do all of the above & if property damage occurred with people saying get rid of the tree/s, I would think it is the community’s & Council’s best interest to fix the damage (within reason, once proof & access has been given to Council) & put things in place to ensure the problem won’t repeat itself.  Too many people & future generations miss out for cracks to walls & pipes, both which are easily fixed without costing as high as the value of losing a tree.

Trees are the only things Councils own that increase in value each year.

I have written about clay soils & how they affect buildings at – https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/clay-soil/

You can read both stories at the following links –http://www.portnews.com.au/news/local/news/general/lastditch-figs-effort/1874281.aspx

http://www.goondiwindiargus.com.au/news/local/news/general/tree-choppers-are-really-tree-huggers/1872430.aspx

I recently came across a video segment from the program Stateline on ABC from March 2010 where they discussed the dollar value of trees.  This video discusses the following & more:

  • The loss of Adelaide’s street & park trees for lack of water
  • Melbourne has decided to water their street & park trees
  • A real estate agent talking about how both street trees & trees on the property increase the value of the property
  • How much trees are actually worth
  • What it will be like to live in an area that has few or no trees
  • Councils used to irrigate street trees
  • Residents used to give trees both on their property & in front of their property regular watering
  • The cost of watering trees to save their life far outweighs the cost of losing a tree through lack of water
  • How the fact that a tree is not a native somehow gives permission for it to be cut down
  • Trees can be worth as much as $100,000
  • Trees are assets & investments which appreciate over time

roots of a big, beautiful Fig

In Melbourne, they are talking about how their 100-year-old trees are “an extremely valuable asset” while Marrickville Council talks about our older trees as “senescent” & past their time.  You may remember earlier this year Marrickville Council put up a plan before the Councillors to remove many of the old trees over the next 5 years.  The designated amount was 1,000 trees to be removed per year for 5 years targeting senescent trees.  Thankfully the Councillors did not accept this Tree Strategy Issues Paper, but it was a close call & a revised Paper will be returning for consideration soon.

This video is 7 minutes duration.  I whole-heartedly recommend watching it.  If you do, check out the hole in one of the larger trees right at the end.  I have seen a

Pine tree in Brighton le Sands

tree like that closer to home along the beachfront at Brighton-le-Sands.  A few of the tall pines had substantial holes in their trunks. Rather than chopping them down, Rockdale Council had the rot treated & the hole cemented allowing the tree to remain stable & continue to live for the benefit of the community.  I would imagine those trees are heritage listed.

When I was a child, it was quite common for a Tree Surgeon (as Arborists were called then), to be employed to save trees on private property. I remember watching them scrapping out the hole, using chemicals to stop the disease & filling the hole with cement, just like a dentist fills dental caries.  I saw trees bolted together if they had a split in their trunk & other such things that seem to be out of vogue today.  Nowadays, the simplest intervention seems to be to cut the tree down saying “everything has to die.”  True, but many tree species live far longer than what we are led to believe.  Melbourne is proof of this.

As we have been in a long & protracted drought that is not over yet, trees dying from lack of water is going to become a significant issue, especially if the culture changes & trees are truly recognised as significant green assets.  We may yet return to the days where Councils water the public trees & property owners take care of the trees on their property as well as the tree out front.  I have my fingers

lovely Fig in Enmore Park

crossed.  Already around the municipality there are trees dying.  Some of them were stunners that now stand brown & present a danger of falling, damaging property & perhaps a risk to life.  I find it sad as many of these tree deaths could have been averted if they had been watered.

Another article in the same vein that may be of interest says Adelaide City Council is considering putting a dollar value on its trees following in the footsteps of Melbourne.  This may lead to developers being required to compensate for the trees they say they need to chop down by planting trees to that dollar value.  So if trees are valued at $100,000, they will be required to plant trees to that value.  I’m hoping it may bring business to those tree companies who are skilled at large tree relocation.  Relocation costs may actually be cheaper than paying for the trees that would be lost if chopped down.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/04/13/2870993.htm

The Stateline video & a transcript of the main points can be accessed by clicking on the following link- http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/2010/03/26/2857693.htm

This beautiful tree-lined walk along the Cooks River offers respite from the city's hectic life. The tall trees which make this section special.

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