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Floating wetland in Scarborough Park Central in Monterey

This is what I saw from the car. 

Looking back towards President Avenue

Looking back towards President Avenue

Last weekend we were driving down President Avenue towards Brighton Le Sands & I did as I always do & looked at Scarborough Park on the way past.  I saw something in the pond that made me decide to stop there at the end of the day.  And we did.

I love Scarborough Park.  It’s full of big beautiful trees, but the major attraction for me is the pond in the middle, which is part of the ‘Wetland Highway’ that goes all the way to the Georges River at Sans Souci.

If you like nature & especially birds, anywhere along the Wetland Highway is a great place to wander.  There is a lot of wildlife living here & although houses are close by, the surrounding trees & the naturalness allows you to feel as though you have left the madding crowd.  It’s also quiet.

What we found was a floating pontoon secured to the banks by ropes, which appeared to be a coir mix planted with native grasses.  This was so intriguing that I decided to call Rockdale Council to find out what it was & I am glad that I did.

The pontoon is a floating wetland designed to control & prevent algal blooms by consuming the excess nutrients that enter the pond through groundwater.  Scarborough Park was built in the middle of what was once a rubbish dump.  When it rains, groundwater seeps into the pond bringing with it nutrients that can result in algal blooms.

An algal bloom can completely cover a body of water, clogging the gills of fish & blocking sunlight from reaching underwater plants, which can result in their death.  Decomposition of the algae produces bacteria that consumes much of the dissolved oxygen in the water.  The lack of oxygen & plant die-off creates toxic water killing the fish, insects, other aquatic animals, as well as birds & other land animals.  This is not what you want in any water system, particularly a prime area of biodiversity.

I think the floating wetland is a brilliant initiative.  Not only will it help keep the pond clean & prevent algal build-up, but it also offers another place for waterbirds to perch to watch the water.  The birds may not take up this opportunity in this location because there are lots of trees around the pond that have branches that cascade over the water, but for the Cooks River, there are very few places where tree branches reach over the water.

It would be great to see a few floating wetlands along the Cooks River, as the river has a massive nutrient polluton problem from stormwater entering the river.  I also think it would be quite easy & cheap to modify a floating wetland to allow waterbirds a place to perch.

The floating wetlands not only have a positive impact on the health of the water & biodiversity, but also offer an educational opportunity to anyone that sees them.  Rockdale Council placed their floating wetland in a section that was visible from a high traffic road, which resulted in us deciding to stop & look, as well a phone call to Council to learn more.  I’d say that educational approach worked.

Almost beside the floating wetland.

Almost beside the floating wetland.

A closer view

A closer view

The park was full of waterbirds.

The park was full of waterbirds.  This branch is a favourite for the Cormorants as it juts out over the pond.

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This is what Rockdale Council does to traffic islands. This one is in Ramsgate. Note the street trees in the background. Gorgeous isn't it.

The Chinese style bridge in Kogarah Park is very picturesque as are the trees that are everywhere throughout this very pretty park

Not really a secret, but I bet many people in Marrickville LGA don’t know of this stunningly beautiful park in Rockdale.  Aptly named Rockdale Park, it reminds me of a small Botanic Garden.  Trees are not just planted around the perimeter as is usual in our LGA, but all throughout the park.   If you take a walk around, you wander into ‘rooms,’ all with a different view & feel.  It’s a landscaper’s delight.

There are trees everywhere. Big shade trees like Figs & Flame trees. There are also Conifers, Eucalypts, Jacarandas, Grevilleas, Olives, Tulip trees & a hoard of other trees that I can’t identify.  Amazingly their side branches have not been removed so they have been able to retain their natural beautiful shape. It’s true you do need to look where you are going because tree branches are from ankle to eye height & above.  I doubt however, that anything bad has happened because of the way the park has been set out.  The trees of Rockdale Park are how trees looked when I was growing up.

An Olive tree planted as a memorial tree for International Day of Mourning. Marrickville Council removes Olive trees in public places.

Rockdale Council has created areas of understory habitat with groups of trees of all different species, shapes & sizes planted together in areas where one would have to push through to get across the undergrowth. These are perfect places for urban wildlife to live & forage for food, yet be safe from people.  To see this in a park is wonderful. It has been created for both people & wildlife & the amount of birds is evidence that they like the place.

There is a man-made stream no deeper than 15cms curving through the park with numerous concrete stepping-stones so that children can play over the water.  Unfortunately the stream is turned off these days, perhaps because of the drought or perhaps issues of public liability. Crossing the stream is a Chinese style red bridge reminiscent of a Monet painting. The park is a very good setting for artists as there is beauty wherever one looks.

There is a rotunda, barbeques, a bubbler & public toilets. There is no shortage of seating with park benches everywhere taking in the different views.  There are memorial trees as well.  Seems Rockdale Council has understood how trees can be living memorials & meaningful to the community.

There are spaces to throw a ball or play touch footie, but it isn’t a sporting park.  It’s a park to relax, contemplate, read a book, meditate, have a family picnic or barbeque or quiet time with a loved one.  It’s a romantic park that changes with the seasons, but doesn’t lose its secluded feel.   I went in autumn so there was lots of colour. Late spring, early summer would see the Jacarandas come into flower & create purple carpets.  It’s also a great park for a child’s birthday party as there are plenty of things that kids would find interesting & the bridge & stream make perfect, safe areas to play.

Parking is easy on Bryant Street.  You can still hear the traffic of West Botany Street, but no matter.  This is the kind of park that allows you to feel that you are away from the madding crowd, yet close enough to houses & people to feel safe.

So if you wish for somewhere to go on the weekend or after work before the sun goes down, Rockdale Park on the corner of West Botany Road & Bryant Street Rockdale is well worth a visit.    I have made a YouTube video so you can have a look for yourself – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tB3O7B0q-AQ

I'm looking down to this branch of a tree in Kogarah Park. Rockdale Council has planted deciduous as autumn features throughout the park & leave the leaves when they drop.

A friend took me to San Souci to show me a surprise.  It turned out to be a mature Fig tree planted in the middle of the road at Cooks Park.

The tree was planted many decades ago when the area was much quieter & despite the increase in traffic, Rockdale Council has decided to leave the tree where it is.  Here, it would have been chopped down years ago.  The tree looks fantastic & definitely enhances this very beautiful area.  There were other Fig trees planted along the beachfront, which are still young.

I made a short video (51 seconds) showing this Fig tree here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDWYwLtXS-A

Imagine a big old shady Fig tree on the beachfront to sit under on a hot day in the future

I’m keen on hedges & hedgerows.  I think they not only look great, but with the right kind of hedge, you can create food sources & safety for birds, especially small birds.  Hedges are also good for other urban wildlife & help improve & foster biodiversity by providing habitat.

Hedges & hedgerows also add beauty & make an area look neat & cared for.  They fill up places where litter would collect.  There are many places across Marrickville LGA where hedgerows could be used to hide the areas that don’t look good, especially along the railway lines.  In this situation they would act as a noise & wind buffer, also reducing dust.

Small native flowering hedges could be used along sections of the verges around Marrickville LGA. Surely this would be cheaper to manage than the current $2.2 million Marrickville Council spends on mowing.  There are plenty of small growing natives that would be soft enough so as not to cause injury.

Not all hedges need to be pruned into the usual shape.  If they are planted next to a cyclone fence for example, they can be pruned once or twice a year just to get any errant branches out of the way & prevent them from growing too tall.  The more room, the easier it is to allow them to grow into a more natural shape. It’s a case of choosing the right species & planting the hedgerow in the right place, just like trees.

Rockdale Council is using New Zealand Christmas trees very successfully as hedging along waterfront pedestrian walkways in Sandringham.  They look stunning & Rockdale Council obviously doesn’t think hedges are too hard to manage.

These flower in winter so there were great big red flowers at eye-level & lower bringing colour into the area.  Rockdale Council didn’t need to plant hedges here. They could have relied on the fencing of the properties. Instead they took control of the visual amenity allowing whatever people wanted to do with their own fencing to be hidden behind a flowering hedge.  Many have chosen to hedge as well.

Had Rockdale Council not planted a hedge, it would have likely been nothing more than grass trying to grow on sand. And litter, because when spaces are bare, that’s what tends to happen.  Watch a 36 second YouTube video of these hedges here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hA12Z4Kr4tM

I wrote about the New Zealand Christmas tree here –  https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2010/11/15/new-zealand-christmas-tree/

Full of food for birds & gorgeous to look at

Scotts Park in San Souci is a beautiful place with quite a number of environmental initiatives of which I will write about over a couple of posts.  It is a park full of large trees. There is open space, but unlike most of the parks in Marrickville LGA, the trees are not around the periphery, but scattered all through the park.  You get a strong sense of being away from the traffic.

About 40 metres from the road there is a massive Fig tree that would have to be 100-hundred-years-old or more.  There was a gathering of people having a picnic under its boughs while we were there.  Above in the massive boughs was a family of Little Corellas with a baby making a constant noise calling for more food.  Birds feature a lot in this park.

It was only after walking around the park that we noticed concrete in the base of the Fig tree. When I say concrete, it was around 1.5 square metres of concrete.  The middle & base of the tree had rotted.  Rockdale Council must have decided to scrape out the rot & fill in the space with concrete allowing the tree to be retained.  Apart from the rot, the tree itself is very healthy, has fruit & shows no dieback.  In the wild, this tree would have simply developed a hollow, which I am told, often has no affect on the strength of the tree & the hole itself creates homes for wildlife.

There is still some rot & I guess Rockdale Council will come again & add some more concrete.  A few years ago they planted a replacement Fig & this tree is growing quite happily beside the older Fig.   If one day the mature Fig needs to be removed, the replacement tree will be much larger so the visual aspects of the park will not be negatively affected.  I am impressed first with treating the tree & retaining it, but also having the foresight to plant a replacement tree well before the older tree needs to be chopped down, if that does happen.  Well done Rockdale Council.

Talking about Fig trees …. A Fig had to be removed from near 16 Thornley Street in Steele Park Marrickville South last year because of rot & other problems.  Marrickville Council said at the time, “It is proposed to be replaced with a Moreton Bay Fig of size 100L or greater.”  I posted about this tree removal on 5th March 2010 & a replacement Fig has not been planted at the time of posting.

I made a short YouTube video of the Fig tree in Scotts Park here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H22dVuh7gLo

This is the side without concrete.

Ibis nesting high up in the trees

We discovered this park a couple of months ago & what a discovery it was.  If you are into nature, a bit of bush, water, birds & walking, this is a great place for a wander.   The sign says it was opened for the bicentenary in 1988. The park is divided into 3 sections known as North, South & East. This post is about East & North Bicentennial Park. We have yet to visit South Bicentennial Park, which looks more of a wild park as it’s part of wetlands. It’s a big place that joins with Scarborough Park, which has its own North, East, South & Central. Scarborough Park Central is more like a regular park with playing fields & a skate park filled with talented kids.

View from one part of the walk

If you wander through the playing fields to the bank of trees, you find yourself entering a bush area filled with trees. Many of the trees are quite substantial in girth & height & must be a few decades old.

A ring of moving water does an oval journey around a couple of islands before it travels to a wetland lake in South Bicentennial Park on the other side of President Avenue.  The islands are filled with natural bush & trees. Many of the trees have Ibis nests high up in the branches with families of Ibis perching. It’s quite a sight.

The sound from baby birds trilling, as only Ibis do, was lovely.  There were also wild ducks & geese when we were there.  The path around the islands & to the pedestrian bridge is a wide path of mown grass, no concrete anywhere, which feels like a luxury these days.

Bridge over the water near the car park

It’s safe with enough people with dogs walking around to know that someone would hear you if you needed help, yet you are far enough away from the traffic & the sight of buildings to feel you are anywhere other than in the Inner South East of Sydney. The terrain is mostly flat, suitable for a pram, but not a wheelchair. However, there is a car park near the water & a pedestrian bridge that is suitable for a wheelchair.

It’s a fabulous place for a walk or a picnic as there are plenty of shady places to lay a blanket & watch the birds & other wildlife. There are also plenty of places for the kids to have a run or explore.  The skate park is part of Scarborough Park. When we were there it was filled with kids & I watched while they took turns allowing the little less experienced or younger children have a go before they did their runs & leaps into the air.

Another view along the path

Rockdale Council has done a very great thing with this group of parks.  They have ensured that there is something for everyone whilst protecting areas purely for wildlife habitat.  The map shows they have protected & worked on a significant wildlife corridor that is perfect habitat for water birds.  I think they should be commended for this. In the past the area would have been drained, filled in & housing built on it or the park would have been made accessible for people from corner to corner with the wildlife having to make do. That this area has been made a wildlife sanctuary is a wonderful thing.  We loved the place & will go again because there is a lot to see.

 

A random view of the Pacific Highway, Sydney. There are just as many trees along most of its length to Hornsby.

In this post I am discussing 2 main roads: the Pacific Highway & Parramatta Road.  Travelling on either road is like travelling in different countries.  I cannot help but be astounded by the difference.

There is really no difference in the utility between the two roads except that Parramatta Road has many more shopping strips. However, I don’t see why this should mean there should be dearth of trees along its length.

The section of Parramatta Road that is under the control of Marrickville & Leichhardt Councils is ugly & getting visually worse as the years pass. The almost treeless state of Parramatta Road under the control of these 2 Councils seems to be a planning decision that was probably made decades ago & little has been done to change it.  Of course, there are other parts of this road that are just as treeless, but I am presently concerned with the section under the control of Marrickville, Leichhardt & City of Sydney Councils.

You can see the demarcation line between Marrickville & Leichhardt Councils & the City of Sydney Council by looking for the presence of street trees.  Once they start you are in City of Sydney territory. Once they stop you are in Marrickville & Leichhardt territory.

A random view of Parramatta Road at Stanmore. The Palm belongs to McDonalds car park.

Sydney City has planted quite a number of Eucalypts along their section of Parramatta Road & the trees are already looking good.  Sydney Council’s action proves it can be done.  Interestingly they planted Eucalypts, trees which some regard as dangerous because of falling branches.  Mind you, the branch die-off is a slow process & is clearly visible to the naked eye. I’d guess that Sydney City Council chose to plant Eucalypts because they grow tall & straight, grow rapidly & also flower providing food for the birds.  I’d also guess they made a decision to check on the trees occasionally & prune any branches that die off as part of general maintenance.

The Pacific Highway is filled with a variety of tall growing trees along its length, again proving that trees can exist on a main thoroughfare.  The trees don’t cause visibility problems for the traffic & they certainly help keep pedestrians safer. The trees also provide a pollution barrier to local housing by capturing particulate matter from the exhausts of passing traffic.  People who live within a block of the Pacific will have much cleaner air than those who live along or near Parramatta Road.

Parramatta Road opposite McDonalds at Stanmore looking towards the city.

It annoys me that Sydney’s Inner West of has to be exposed to more pollution, including visual pollution.   What does it take to cut out concrete & plant trees in available spaces along Parramatta Road? If Leichhardt & Marrickville Councils followed City of Sydney’s lead & planted 3-4 metre high saplings, the effect would be to instantly beautify & green the place. The trees would also have a much greater chance of survival, as they are not sitting ducks to be vandalized.  The new street trees recently planted along Glebe Point Road are proof of this.

I know money is an issue, but is losing 95% of saplings planted each season due to dying for lack of water, accidents, vandalism & the like a wise investment?  Wouldn’t it be better to plant bigger saplings which do cost more, but if watered, are more likely to survive?

Couldn’t the nearest business owner be given a complementary watering can & asked to water the tree?  Council could give them a big bright sticker to put in their window saying that they are caretakers of the street trees with much thanks from Council & the community.  Something like I am a volunteer caretaker of the street tree/s outside this business.

View of the Pacific Hwy just before Chatswood. Even in this area street trees are regularly spaced & of a tall growing species.

People notice these things.  Couldn’t community appreciation awards be given each year to those people & businesses that kept the street trees alive?  Surely this type of recognition would be good for their professional reputation because a large percentage of the community cares about green issues these days.

My dream is that once businesses catch on to the fact that shoppers spend around 11% more where there are shady trees, they will be beating down Council’s door demanding trees be planted.

Parramatta Road is also a main route south of Sydney Harbour Bridge.  Tourists travel along it daily & they will gain an impression of Sydney from this road.  As for the Princes Highway, straight out from the airport…….

The Princes is shamefully ugly.  The section from St Peters to the Cooks River always looked dreadful &, like Parramatta Road, is only getting worse.  Rockdale Council made their section look considerably better & more people-friendly by planting street trees every 3 metres along the whole length of the shopping strip.  Rockdale Council prunes & maintains these trees & although they are trees in cages, they look good.  It is the kind of care that is noticeable & makes people feel good, better connected in their communities & happier.

Trees have this extraordinary capacity to cause people to feel happier & peaceful. Research has been done regarding the effects of trees on peoples’ physical & mental health, so it is not just me banging on. 100 Tree Facts has more information regarding the benefits of trees.  https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/100-tree-facts/

Marrickville Council won’t do anything about this unless we let them know that we want more trees in areas like Parramatta Road where there is tree-poverty.  We should not need to get used to ugliness when the solution is so simple & good for us & our children. If we work or live in areas with a predominance of grey infrastructure, it will have a negative impact on our health & our quality of life.  Besides, the UN says we should be planting 14 billion trees a year across the planet if we are going to have a chance of holding back the thrust towards climate change.

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.

Street trees in Eastwood. Most of the residential streets in this & surrounding suburbs have many tall trees.

Dr Jago Dodson from Griffith University’s Urban Research Program is advocating the creation of many more community gardens in cities saying there will be increased pressure on urban areas to produce food in the future.

“In the context of some of the big challenges we’re facing – challenges about the sustainability of rural & regional agriculture, challenges about drought conditions, changing environmental conditions, questions about global warming’s impact on food supplies across the world & also questions about the sustainability of petroleum, which is one of the key inputs into industrial agricultural systems – those big changes are going to start to motivate more creatively how we produce food in society.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/03/22/2852294.htm

Most residential streets in Chatswood have many tall, shady street trees. This is the norm.

Dr Dodson has some innovative ideas that I think are really exciting.  Judging by Marrickville Council’s support for the latest verge gardening project in Wilga Avenue & the community garden in Denison Road Dulwich Hill, I would imagine Council will also support other community gardens in the LGA.  This year they have said they will provide help in-kind such as removing cement to facilitate such projects & that there are a number of suitable places for community gardens in the LGA.  Access to water is the main issue if the gardens are not on the verges out front.

I predict community gardens will be as popular as book clubs in the not too distant future & as is with Book Clubs, only limited places are available so it pays to be involved from the beginning.

The Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health published research from the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam showed that living less than 1km (0.62miles) from a green space had a major impact in lowering the incidence of major physical disease & mental ill-health.

Professor Barbara Maher of the Lancaster Environment Centre said, “The study confirmed that green spaces create oases of improved health around them especially for children.” She said, “At least part of this ‘oasis’ effect probably reflects changes in air quality.”

More proof that a good-sized street tree out front does more than beautify, raise property values & reduce your power costs for heating & cooling.  Street trees also remove up to 60% of street level particulate matter such as dust, smoke, ash & the sooty bi-product from car & truck exhausts that we would generally filter through our lungs & which cause asthma & other respiratory illnesses. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8307024.stm

A recent study found tripling the number of street trees could reduce asthma among children by 25 percent.  Researchers from Columbia University in the US found rates of asthma fell by a ¼ when there were around 350 more trees in a square kilometre. http://www.nhs.uk/news/2008/05May/Pages/Asthmarisklowinleafysuburbs.asp

The research found that children are less likely to develop asthma if they live in tree-lined streets, particularly in areas with more street trees.  Here, I think they mean nice big trees with a canopy, not the hacked variety that are so prevalent in Marrickville LGA.

Part of the aims of New York City’s Million Tree Program is to reduce the incidence of respiratory illness as well as improve the overall mental & physical health of its residents.  They also believe in global warming & in 2005, New York tallied its CO2 emissions & found they were approximately 1% of US totals & less than 1/3 of the average US per capita level. 79% CO2 came from buildings. They believe their emissions are so low because there is a heavy reliance on cycling & public transport use. They still to reduce their CO2 emissions by a further 33%. http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/apr2007/2007-04-11-03.asp

Rockdale City Council planted street trees along both side of the Princes Hwy Rockdale for approximately 2 km. The awnings posed a problem, so each tree was pruned into a ball & these are maintained regularly. I like what Rockdale Council has done. It looks great & brings green every 3 metres along the shopping strip.

A short, succinct article from Real Estate Agents about the monetary worth of trees on your property, which says, “mature trees & a well-landscaped yard can improve your home’s value by 10-25%.”

Every time I mention this to others I watch the disbelief on their faces, yet this estimate is a number I come across repeatedly in research & articles about the value of trees.

Try looking in the local community papers in the Real Estate section.  If there is a street tree in front of the property, the photographer always includes a branch or leaves from the tree in the photo of the property.  They do this because the sight of trees has a subconscious effect on us.  When we see leafy green, we get a feeling of peace & safety even if we are not directly aware of this. Leafy green means good place to rear children, safety & happiness.  Not to many of us will look at a photo of a property surrounded by cement with no green & compare it favorably with a property that has trees & landscaping, even if the greener property is of lesser value.

http://www.keeferealestate.com/news/concierge.php?itemid=620

The iconic Coral trees in Clifton Gardens were chopped down mid April 2010 by Mosman Council as part of an upgrade of the picnic area. They said the trees had a high-hazard rating.  The residents were very unhappy to lose these & 4 other trees. http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/trees-cleared-at-clifton-gardens-no-picnic-for-some-residents/

Professional tree trimmers in Gilroy California killed 2 owlets when they chopped down a palm tree despite being warned twice about the nest. The Wildlife Education & Rehabilitation Center is caring for the third owlet, who survived the fall. Police are investigating. http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2008/05/21/2-baby-owls-killed-when-palm-tree-cut-down/UPI-39621211398657/

Energy Australia reduced a Frenches Forest woman to tears after their tree pruners entered her property & ‘butchered’ her trees.  She said her trees grew straight upwards & were 4 metres away from the power lines & Energy Australia’s intervention was unnecessary.  The first comment by ‘Chips’ is also interesting as he says this has happened to trees on his property numerous times. http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/tears-over-butchered-garden/

Good news… Buffalo, Illinois, a town of 500 residents has no more room for street trees. They have been focused on street tree planting since 1986 & have now run out of room.  Mike Dirksen, city arborist in nearby Springfield said, “There are so many benefits from trees.  They shouldn’t just be seen as having an ornamental purpose.” This should be engraved on a gold plaque. Bet the town looks stunning! http://friendsoftrees.org/blog/2010/04/16/illinois-town-has-no-more-room-for-trees/

CELEBRITY NEWS (drum-roll please) Last April, in Sao Paulo, Avatar Producer James Cameron & actor Sigourney Weaver planted a native Brazilian tree pau-brasil which is 99% extinct to kick-off a global Earth Day Network which intends to plant 1 million trees in 15 countries by the end of 2010.  http://www.tonic.com/article/james-cameron-plants-first-one-million-trees/

Chatswood, Ashfield, Pacific Hwy & Alexandria - all are very busy roads & they have large street trees at close spacing.

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