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There are lots of significant trees in Camperdown Park.  You can just see on the bottom left an attractive wooden raised walkway installed by Marrickville Council to protect the roots and the ground around the tree from compaction.

I received the following email from a local resident, which was sent to Inner West Council.  The email is about adding a Significant Tree Register to the upcoming Tree DCP Amendment.

From Council’s ‘Your Say’Inner West’ –Inner West Council has resolved to undertake a review of the Development Control Plan (DCP) controls relating to trees. Council’s three tree DCPs (from the former Ashfield, Leichhardt and Leichhardt Councils) regulate the management of trees on private land and set out controls for determining tree pruning and removals via Permit Applications and Development Applications.”

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Re: Tree DCP Amendment

To establish a Significant Tree Register to protect and celebrate our local heritage.

What is a significant tree?

“Significant trees are integral components of an ever-changing landscape through their dynamic cycle of growth, maturity, ageing, senescence and renewal. 

They reflect the patterns and processes which have shaped our natural and urban environments over time. They may represent the last vestiges of former natural or cultural landscapes – symbols of our environmental, social and economic histories. Significant trees are inextricably linked to the quality and identity of ‘place’.

Significant trees retain exceptional values in terms of their contribution to our environment. They have a recognisable range of heritage values – natural, cultural, scientific, aesthetic, visual, social, spiritual and commemorative. These trees can be symbols of great spiritual power. They may have associations with individual people and communities or tell stories of other times and places, or the historic development of a place, trade routes, connections and communications.” ~ Noel Ruting, Director of LandArc

Many councils in Sydney have a Significant Tree Register.  Blacktown City Council, at its ordinary meeting of 30th January 1985, resolved that a Register of Significant Trees be established in recognition of the need to preserve and enhance the unique qualities of the Blacktown Local Government Area (LGA), particularly those contributing to its rich environmental heritage.

That’s right.  33 years ago! 

On the 22nd October 2009, the Saving Our Trees blog asked Marrickville Council to establish a Significant Tree Register.

https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2009/10/22/22nd-october-09-we-need-a-significant-tree-register/

 9 years on we are still waiting………..

Why are we still waiting? Why doesn’t the Inner West Council recognise the importance of trees with unique historic, cultural or botanical values by establishing a Significant Tree Register?

The City of Sydney Significant Tree Register has a total of 2,674 trees from 157 properties are listed in the latest Register of Significant Trees.   These trees were selected on the basis of their historical, cultural, social, ecological or outstanding visual and aesthetic appeal.

Can we please protect our significant trees before they are lost forever?

“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” ~ Warren Buffett

“It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

“The great French Marshall Lyautey once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected that the tree was slow growing and would not reach maturity for 100 years. The Marshall replied, ‘In that case, there is no time to lose; plant it this afternoon!’ “. ~ John F. Kennedy

I also believe we have no time to lose, so can you please support a Significant Tree Register and add this to the Tree DCP Amendment.”

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I could not agree more.  With development happening at a rapid rate, we are losing many trees.  A few of these may be very important trees, but we, the community, do not know.   We need to protect significant trees.  The Inner West Council needs to take our urban forest seriously & not delay adding a Significant Tree Register (for both public & private trees) to this upcoming DCP Amendment.

It does not matter that significant trees are protected under current DCPs.  What matters is there is no public declaration of significant trees in the area.  It is about knowing about the existence of significant trees.

Why would other local councils have a Significant Tree Register if there was no reason for doing so?  Significant trees are an essential part of a localities history & the community want to know about them.

Other local councils are being much more proactive regarding protecting & celebrating important trees in their locality.   The Inner West Council needs to get with the times & take this small step forward. The community will respect them for doing this.

You can participate in community consultation on the Have Your Say website here –https://bit.ly/2MqzrQG

The deadline is this coming Friday 14thSeptember 2018.  Participating will not take long. 

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