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Marrickville Golf Course

Inner West Council has given notice that they intend to remove & work on trees located in Marrickville Golf Course.

Council says it plans to do the following –

  • “Tree removal– includes the removal of several dead trees or trees present significant defects and/or structural issues.
  • The creation of habitat trees– where trees are reduced down to safe limbs and boxes and hollows are created for use by native fauna.
  • Tree pruning– to remove defective or dead branches to reduce risk.”

Council do not give the location or number of trees to be removed.  We should be told about each individual tree & why they must be removed.

Nor do they give the number & location of trees they intend to prune or those they intend to make into Habitat Trees.    Council goes on to say that –

“All trees to be removed will be replaced (and more) as part of a planting program to be developed in collaboration with Council, Marrickville Golf Course and the community.”

Again, Council does not tell the community how many new trees will be planted or what species.

This is not something I understand.  I think it is in Council’s interest to tell the community how many trees they will plant because this is positive information that makes people who care about the local environment happy.  If Council had informed the community that they planned to plant 15 new native trees for example, everyone would feel happy about it, which is good for Council.

It is called transparency.  It is their duty.  Open & full communication is the only thing that instills trust in the community for what its government does.   You can’t have words about believing in open government & consultation, but fail to inform your community.

On a positive note, I think it is wonderful that more habitat trees are being created, especially in this important biodiversity corridor along the Cooks River.   I also think it is great that more trees will be planted.  The golf course has plenty of room for more trees.

Showing two of the new habitat trees - one on the left and the other in the foreground with the sign on the trunk.

Showing two of the new habitat trees – one on the left and the other in the foreground with the sign on the trunk.

Last October the Inner West Council posted that they created three new habitat trees in Mackey Park Marrickville South.   We walked the whole park, but unfortunately were only able to find two of the trees.  The trees we found were between the shared path & the wetland area.

Habitat trees are trees that have caused a safety problem by dropping branches. Rather than removing the tree, the tree is killed by ringbarking.  Then the branches are cut open & a cavity created with a chainsaw to create nest boxes & other kinds of hollows.

A large amount of Australian wildlife will not breed if they do not have access to a hollow, so retaining the structure of mature trees is vitally important.  See –

Council said they created five nesting boxes in these trees.  Three for Red-rumped parrots, one for Gould’s wattled bats (microbats) & one for a Brushtail possum.

They also plan to mulch & landscape with local native plants under & around the trees in the near future.  Good one Council.

Showing one of the nesting hollows.

Showing one of the nesting hollows.

The dead habitat trees are visible from some vantage points

The dead habitat trees are visible from some vantage points

‘Habitat trees’ are trees that have been killed because they are considered dangerous due to dropping limbs or other issues, but left on site.  Their canopy & their branches are removed.  The trees are ringbarked & artificial hollows are carved into the remaining wood.  Sometimes, nesting boxes are also attached.

The idea is that even though dead, the trees continue to provide habitat for hollow-dependent wildlife.  About 350 Australian animals use hollows for either roosting or nesting.  It takes around 100-150 years for a tree to even start developing hollows, so our wildlife is at a distinct disadvantage with tree hollows being very scarce across Australia.

I was really pleased to see the changes around the ‘habitat trees’ in Sydney Park.  I last wrote about these trees here –

The area around both trees has been extensively planted making what I consider viable habitat for a range of species, especially small birds. Instead of two highly visible standing dead trees, the City of Sydney Council has surrounded these trees with densely planted living trees, shrubs & understory plants. To me it looks like the bush.

I am not good at estimating distances, but my guess is that it is at least 25-metres of thick bush around the two habitat trees.  Already a number of living trees are the same height as the two dead trees.  This provides supreme cover & safety for any wildlife who are using the man-made hollows.

I think what has been created here is perfect.  Real habitat has been provided for wildlife & we are not left with what could be considered an eye-sore of looking at two heavily pruned dead trees.  The trees have blended into the new landscape and are not the only thing ones eyes focus on.

You can sit in comfort at a number of places near this area & watch & listen to the birds making it great for bird photography too.

They almost disappear from other angles.  I love that City of Sydney Council plants densely in some areas.

The dead trees almost disappear from other angles. I love that City of Sydney Council plants densely in some areas.



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