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13 street trees planted along the verge on Davis Street Dulwich Hill. 7 poisoned alongside 1 property, the remaining 6 alongside another property left to grow

I was told that 7 out of 13 new trees on Davis Street Dulwich Hill were poisoned or at least, this is the suspicion because there was a smell of petrol & the trees died very rapidly.   Great choice. Petrol kills saplings fast.

Marrickville Council tried hard here because they planted Red Flowering Gums & they planted them close together. I think this neighbourhood got really lucky to have this species of tree planted.

I admit to loving these trees because they look very beautiful & they flower profusely with gorgeous red or hot pink flowers that provide food for bats, bees, possums & all nectar-eating birds.  This species grows to a medium height & is not likely to have a negative impact on the neighbouring houses because they don’t grow invasive roots or grow higher than powerlines. If they were allowed to grow, the street would look spectacular.

I hope that Marrickville Council persists with replanting the same species despite the malicious damage & the cost involved.   We can only hope that

1 of the untouched Red Flowering Gums and 1 of the poisoned trees

residents all over Marrickville LGA come to understand that street trees have multiple benefits on their quality of life & the value of their property.  Vandalizing street trees also has a negative impact on nearby properties.

If people came to understand that property values escalate when there are good street trees out front, they may decide to take care of them & stop vandalizing them.

In today’s Inner West Courier there is a news item about a house that was sold in Concord.  The opening sentence was: Set on tree-lined Ludgate St is number 15, a four-bedroom house in Concord –

http://inner-west-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/sensation-in-concord/

I’d be interested to know of any tree vandalism happening across Marrickville LGA.  It’s one thing to be critical of Council for not increasing the overall tree canopy & another to have Council’s hard work destroyed by one or 2 people who do not care about their neighbours or the fate of urban wildlife.

The people of Davis Street are angry & they have good right to be.  As they said, “What’s to stop this happening when the next trees are planted & then what will we have, a bare treeless side of the street when it could be so different.”

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Those who know me know that for a good chunk of last year I had a dream to start a campaign across Australia to plant 1 million trees in 1 day.  Some people had the reaction of  “Whoa! Unachievable.” I didn’t think so & nor did the majority of people with whom I spoke. What was needed was organisational skills to bring together the necessary components &, most importantly, a famous person to be the public face of the campaign.  My face was definitely not suitable.

land at the back of Tempe

I had it planned, knew whom I would contact & was at the stage of deciding whether to make the leap or not.  Then Tony Abbott said he would plant 20 million trees if he was elected & I threw the whole idea out the window.  I had the idea that either side of federal politics would implement something like this now that such a proposal had been put into the public arena. Mind you, this was before Copenhagen.

I have been really excited about the many community/government supported tree planting programs world-wide.  There have been some fantastic mass tree planting achievements, some of which did occur in one day.

The Macedonian people planted 2 million trees in one day in 2008 (1 for every citizen). A year later, riding on the excitement of the previous years achievement, the Macedonian people got together & planted an extraordinary 5 million trees in 1 day in 2009. I get excited just writing this.  What an amazing thing for a community to do.

This morning I read another tree planting story that made me very happy.  Felix Finkbeiner, a 12 year old German boy decided to plant 1 million trees across the planet when he was just 9 years old.  He did a presentation at school & his idea gained wings, super-sonic wings.

Teachers & his family must have supported him, because the media became involved & they too supported his idea. Plant for Planet was formed, three years later, Germany has 1 million extra trees & tree planting in the name of this organization is happening in 70 countries. Isn’t this both amazing & wonderful. Plant for Planet aims to plant 212 million trees world-wide, 1 million trees on each country of the world. (not a typo) 1.4 million trees have already been pledged for planting.

One campaign of Plant for Planet is Stop Talking & Start Planting aimed at adults.  http://www.care2.com/greenliving/boy-inspires-planting-of-one-million-trees.html

a gorgeous Eucalypt in the grounds of a petrol station on Parramatta Road Camperdown

Sure, there are cynics who dispute the validity of climate change & others who will say the trees will die. Regardless, with the rate of urbanisation & deforestation world-wide, we need trees & so does the wildlife. I don’t believe we can continue at this rate of tree removal & cementing of the earth without serious consequences.

Those involved in Plant for Planet are not planting small saplings. They are planting 4 metre high saplings with significant sized trunks that would have a far greater chance of survival. I presume they are also doing the obvious & organising regular watering to ensure the trees become established, strong & healthy.

Any organisation can become a part of this program & I am hoping local schools in Australia will become involved. Last year, quite a few people thought I meant to campaign for 1 million trees for Marrickville LGA. When I balked they were surprised saying the LGA could certainly fit another million trees.  I don’t even know what that would look like.  Perhaps only like Sydney’s North Shore.

We could however cope with 100,000 new trees across this LGA if private gardens joined in. Imagine what it would look like 2-5 years after planting was completed.  I think our part of the Inner West would be transformed.  The wildlife would be better off & I have no doubt we would be better off too.  http://www.plant-for-the-planet.org/

Closer to home, Marrickville Council does have it’s own tree planting/bush care regeneration volunteer opportunities.

  • National Tree Day 2010. This year, Marrickville Council is planning to host National Tree Day along the Cooks River foreshore at Steel Park where the Waterplay Park will be constructed over the next few months. Sunday, 1 August 2010, Steel Park, off Illawarra Rd, Marrickville. Put it in your diary.
  • Friends of Camperdown Cemetery. 3rd Saturday of every month 9.30-11.30am. Meet inside the grounds of St Stephens Church, Church St Newtown.
  • Marrickville Landcare. 4th Sunday of every month. 9.30am -12.30pm. Meet at Marrickville Golf, Sporting & Community Club, Wharf St Marrickville.
  • Friends of the Cooks River Valley Garden. 2nd Sunday of every month 9.30am-12.30pm. Meet behind the Jets Sports Club at Tempe Reserve, Holbeach Ave Tempe.
  • Inner West Environment Group. 3rd Sunday of every month 10.00am- 1.00pm. For location details, contact rsvp@iweg.org.au or 9560-9281.
  • Marrickville Community Nursery. Wednesday 10.00am-12.00pm. Saturday & Sunday 10.00am-1.00pm.  Located at Addison Rd Centre, 142 Addison Road Marrickville

For more information, on any of these volunteer opportunities contact the Biodiversity Coordinator for Marrickville Council 9335-2254 or biocoord@marrickville.nsw.gov.au

autumn colour

The following is my take on the meeting.  All mistakes are mine.  There are likely to be mistakes because the sound system has been deteriorating for weeks & is now on its last legs.  The microphones alternate between soft/loud & it is often difficult to hear the Councillors over the air conditioning system & a strange bubbling sound that makes one feel they are in a fish tank.  Nevertheless, the proceedings were blessed with plenty of incisive debate.

1. Sydney Fringe Festival – The Director of the Festival addressed Council asking for $40,000 ‘seed funding’ & free use of Petersham Town Hall & Enmore Park saying that if Council didn’t provide financial assistance, the festival would not go ahead.  He expected the festival to generate $54,000,000 in local business.  Clr Macri was concerned about the money donated to the events sector because of Council’s poor financial situation.  Clr Peters asked Council to organise green transport options to bring the expected 80,000 people to Newtown & Enmore.  Carried.

2. Street by Street – Residents of Wilga Avenue Dulwich Hill have created verge gardens along the street.  They requested $1,000 to ‘further enhance their sustainability efforts.’  Carried.

3. Support for the Peloponnesian Confederation – A representative asked that fees be waived for use of Henson Park for the October Festival.  Discussion centred as to whether Henson Park was an appropriate venue, with Tempe Reserve offered as an alternative.  The Confederation will need to put in a DA.  Carried.

Petersham Oval - Don Bradman played here

4. Maintenance & use of turf wickets – A speaker representing Inner West Cricket Group (Randwick Petersham Cricket Club, Crickets Club of NSW & South Sydney Cricket Club) wanted the retention of 3 cricket turfs at Petersham Park, Camperdown & Marrickville Parks for their use.  Council will continue to maintain turf at Marrickville & Camperdown Parks while the cricket clubs will cover the costs of maintaining the turf at Petersham Oval.  The cricket clubs will also sub-lease the grounds to other cricket clubs throughout the summer season 2010/11.  Council will sell 1 of its turf rollers valued at $5,000.

Clr Marci said Council spends millions on maintaining grounds so Council shouldn’t have to fiddle with the budget to find $5,000.  Clr Wright disagreed saying this was a small price to pay for the overall benefits.  Clr Peters was concerned that they were making a decision to outsource 3 of the LGA’s major ovals without having previously discussed this.  Said the cricket group had no legal status & for transparency, there should be a process regarding insurance, liability & legalities & while the cricket club can sub-let ovals to other groups, their process has no transparency.  She wanted the issue deferred until these issues are dealt with.  Clr Phillips was also concerned that the community loses its ovals to sporting groups & wanted transparency in the clubs’ charges.  The request was carried with Clr Peters & Kontellis against.

5. Marrickville Rotary ClubRequest for financial support– They asked for $1,350 to pay for a driver & bus hired to take 25 refugee children to Jambaroo Amusement Park in April 2010.  Carried.

6. Sister Cities (SC) leave for the General Manager (GM) Marrickville Council for overseas trip – long debate about the value of the SC with Clr Thanos saying he will not support it in future meetings because the benefit to the community

Planter boxes along Brighton Street Petersham. It would be good if planter boxes were a common thing around Marrickville LGA

is nil and the cost high.  He also said Marrickville Council cannot reciprocate on the levels of money that other cities had spent when our officials & would rather see the money spent on Child Care Centres.  Said nothing ever gets done with the SC except for a few photos.

Clr Kontellis disagreed, saying Council has a Strategic Plan as well as a process of review, but despite these she would not support special leave for the GM.  Clr Phillips also did not support special leave saying he could not see the value in SC & would rather see Council spend money that would go on the GM’s salary while he was away go towards Council’s Green House Gas Reduction Targets.

Clr Wright supported the special leave, as did Clr Byrne, but only for the visit to Bethlehem because it is a new SC.  Clr O’Sullivan spoke about the “connections kept & forged within our community” & “that credibility with faith organisations was an assertion of our values as a community.”  Clr Tsardoulias said the program was about exchanging knowledge, ideas & resources.

Clr Peters asked that the GM visit Christmas Island to see what we can do about the refugees there, as some will live in Marrickville LGA.  Clr Hanna said that on previous tours, the GM phoned Council daily & worked on his computer at night, thus his work for Marrickville Council didn’t stop. As examples of the benefit of the programme he said Cyprus liked the Magic Yellow Bus & was going to do one of their own. He said perhaps the trip would give the GM ideas on how to reduce the rates.

Clr Macri supported the special leave.  He agreed we haven’t brought anything much back, but the SCs are poor & benefit from knowledge from us.  Mayor Iskandar who is a strong supporter of SC spoke about the benefits in depth saying the GM will educate people about our systems & advanced programmes.  Carried with Clrs Phillips, Peters, Kontellis & Olive against.

7. Draft Management Plan & Budget 2010-2014 – Clr Phillips reminded that Council put up an amendment regarding climate change in 1997 to lower our emissions by 2010, but we are not going to meet our target.  He said

Ashfield Council buries slotted ag-pipe at the time they plant trees. The pipes help to get air & water down to the soil surrounding the rootball of the tree, especially in cases where the tree is completely surrounded by paving. This is a great thing.

Marrickville LGA’s biggest user of energy is street lighting & Council should move to powering by green power instead of coal power.  Recent price costing was reasonable & he wanted this to be included in the budget saying “it was the moral issue of our time.”

Clr Peters questioned whether graffiti & rubbish removal were major projects. The GM said these are significant issues for the community.  Clr Peters noted  that tree planting & landscaping were not included as key issues. Clr Hanna said residents care about graffiti & clean streets & they do not speak about tree planting.  Clr Thanos said he would like to see sidewalks be other than concrete & wanted to see something done about our energy consumption.  Said again we spend too much money on SC & $500,000 per year on ‘Events’ was “ludicrous.”  He supported the plan.

Clr Kontellis wanted affordable housing included.  Clr Olive did not agree that NFP local organisations should pay for hall hire, saying they should continue to get it for free.  Passed to community consultation before coming back to Council.

8. Draft Core Asset Management Plan – Clr Phillips noted there were limitations to what Council could do because of rate pegging & said he thought the community would support an increase in rates.  Clr Wright said the report provided a framework to allow us to make assessments & go to the community with facts & options.  Carried.

9. 10 Big Ideas to Grow NSW – The NSW Business Council Discussion Paper proposed the formation of 10 ‘Super Councils’ in Sydney to replace the current

spectacular tree at the start of the Newcastle expressway

41 councils.  Clr Olive thought it was a “preposterous idea.”  Clr Thanos said City of Sydney Council has a surplus of half a billion dollars & can’t get that below $200,000,000/year.  Said we should be leaders & not wait until the state government forces amalgamation upon us.  Saying if it benefits our residents, we should say this to the State Government.  The vote was to oppose the idea.

10. 2010 Year of Women in Local Government – Clrs O’Sullivan & Byrne nominated to attend.  The program allocates $17,000 to collect stories from women working in child care, Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or multicultural communities working in positions where they don’t usually have a voice, opportunity to move ahead or have formal qualifications recognised or obtain formal qualifications.

11. Audit Committee Charter – The Mayor & Deputy Mayor are on it, with the third member as chair and not a councillor.  Clr Phillips put up a motion  saying he was concerned  that as the holders of these offices change, may have both representatives coming from the same party & he wanted the committee to have one more member. Mayor Iskandar said it could be discussed if it happens. Clr Wright said this committee is “an oversighting committee at the highest level & above politics.”  The committee does not have decision-making powers. Motion lost with the Mayor using casting vote.

12. National assembly of Local Government – this is a conference in Canberra in June 2010.  Marrickville Council will attend.  Carried.

13. Financial Assistance for Marrickville Greek Orthodox Church – Clr Phillips put up a motion to reverse the previous decision to give $5,000 to quieten the church’s bells.  Said it was totally inappropriate to financially support a DA & sets a bad precedent & other churches or community groups could feel entitled to $5,000 lots as well.  Clr Thanos, who set the first motion to grant the money, said it was a good will gesture.  Its significance is in that it is for a permanent fixture & not a once-off event.  Clr Olive said that he was bothered because it was a permanent structure & thought it was a bad decision heritage-wise.  Clr Peters said she didn’t think we should be funding a DA. Clrs Peters & Macri were out of the room when the vote took place.  Recision motion unsuccessful. See – https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2010/02/18/report-from-the-gallery-–-16th-february-2010/

14. Saving Marrickville from Financial Disaster – See Clr-Thanos-Notice-of-motion-Saving-MC-financial-disaster-2010 Clr Hanna said, if in 2011 there is

a friend's garden

a special rate for the environment, he would not support it & will vote for amalgamation to a Super Council.  Clr Kontellis asked that staff could prepare a study brief that determines the cost/benefit of amalgamation.  Clr Wright opposed the motion saying it “was a wild goose chase that won’t happen unless the state government make us.”  Clr O’Sullivan agreed & mentioned that Glebe Books is coming to Dulwich Hill (yay!) because City of Sydney’s improvements works to Glebe Point Road negatively impacted on businesses. Clr Phillips said amalgamation was a way out from having to vote for a special rate variation (rate increase) as Council’s costs are far greater than the rates coming in.  Clr Thanos spoke about the history of City of Sydney Council amalgamating with South Sydney Council saying it was “a secret agenda of the government for years & he wanted to know the facts & be ready for it.”  Clr Hanna, Byrne, Olive, Kontellis against with Mayor Iskandar using his casting vote.  Motion defeated.

And here ends Report from the Gallery for this week.

New grass planting at Cooks River Marrickville

I’ll start this post with a clarification concerning the last post Cambridge Street tree axed today.  I realised over breakfast this morning that I had generalised when I said, Once again, regarding the Cambridge Street tree, the Greens voted to keep the tree.  Once again, the vote to remove the tree comes from the other counselors.” In fact, with regards to the Cambridge Street tree, Independent Councillor Morris Hanna did not vote, as he was not in attendance at that particular meeting.  My apologies to Councillor Hanna.

I have decided to do another post on tree news from around the world.  I am assuming you will find it as interesting as I do & it gives us comparisons in which to measure our own Marrickville Council in regards to trees.

I'd call this street tree 'The Pride of Chatswood' except there are many street trees like this one, enough to be common

I received interest from the UK regarding the last post, where I mentioned that some Australian municipal councils erect billboards in place of trees that have been deliberately vandalised to get better access to a scenic view. Perhaps UK councils are considering using billboards to act as a deterrent to the recent rampant vandalism of trees in their country.

Caitlin from Save Our Figs in Newcastle found the following for me which, though old news, made me roar with laughter.  In 1998 Port Stephens Council on the mid-north coast of NSW placed 2 shipping containers on top of each other on a cliff in place of 20 trees that were illegally cut down to gain access to better views of picturesque Boat Harbour. Post Stephens Council also planted saplings to replace the trees & intended to keep the shipping containers in place for 3 years until the saplings reached a decent size.  Unsurprisingly, the locals were not amused.

To read the full story complete with photo that I wish I could use, click on the following link.  http://www.news.com.au/national/council-blocks-suspected-tree-loppers-view/story-e6frfkwi-1111115863763

News more recent & local: the Cumberland Courier newspaper reported that Hills Shire Council & Castle Hill police are investigating the death of numerous trees on a property in Boundary Road, Box Hill. A grove of 40 year old Gums have died, yet the trees on properties either side are lush & green. The police are involved because they believe the trees were poisoned. It wouldn’t be the first time bush properties have been used for the dumping of chemicals. Causing deliberate harm to trees is called Malicious Damage in police speak & can incur hefty penalties including gaol time if severe enough.  You can read the full story here – http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/what-s-killing-box-hill-s-trees/

a row of recent street tree planting in Chatswood. Note how close together they are planted

In Seattle USA, a dozen 50 year old Fir trees both on private & public land were chopped down in the middle of the night to make way for better views.  Seattle doesn’t require a permit to chop down trees on private land unless on slopes or along the shore.  It calls itself the Emerald City, yet Seattle’s percentage of tree canopy has dropped from 40% in 1972 to 18% currently.

Seattle is trying to regreen the city to the first target of 30% cover.  In 1999 the budget for Parks & Recreation was US$250,000.  In 2010 it is US750,000 rising to US$1.2 million in 2011.  This is serious tree planting money & I would be interested to learn of Marrickville Council’s budget for tree planting.  Perhaps it would be fairer to compare the budget for City of Sydney Council instead.

The same article reminds readers of when a senior Seattle Judge was fined US$500,000 after he was found guilty of illegally chopping down 120 trees in a public park below his house.  The trees obscured his view of Lake Washington.  Can you imagine chopping down 120 trees in the middle of the night?  He must have been strong  & fit as none of the men I know would be up to this job.  No words of his position as a Senior Judge & bastion of society.

The article has other news including links & is well worth reading.  You can read it at the following link – http://www.seattlepi.com/local/320177_trees18.html

Tree news is a fairly recent phenomenon.  It used to be that only the most profound or shocking tree news was reported, but in recent months a great deal of tree related news is being written in the papers & on the internet.  This post is again too long so I will post the second part of recent news soon.

Reading the latest edition of Marrickville Matters clearly shows that Marrickville Council, which has a reputation for being a green council, (programs not political parties) is actually becoming greener.  Council is clear in its belief in climate change & is encouraging the community to make changes & become involved to help the climate.  Marrickville Council already has quite a number of environmental programs that encourage the community to become involved.  They are Stream Watch, Marrickville Landcare Group, Friends of the Cooks River Valley garden, Friends of Camperdown Cemetery, Marrickville Community Nursery & participation in National Tree day & Clean Up Australia Day.

Red Flowering Gum sapling

Because I am obsessed with trees & very concerned about the impacts of climate change, I’ve been thinking of ways to get more trees planted in our LGA.  Not only more trees, but trees planted in the right places, where there is no need for Energy Australia to touch them, because I think it is very important for our LGA to have more tall trees with a natural canopy.  I also believe every community needs to be encouraged & supported to plant trees.  However, it’s all well & good to think of methods, but these cost money, so Council needs to be financially supported to plant more trees beyond the allowance which comes out of our rates payment.

I have listed a number of ideas some of which are already implemented over-seas while others appear to have come from the deep recesses of my own mind.  I have been very brief & have not addressed potential problems such as vandalism.   I am interested to know what you think.  If there is sufficient positive response I will send them to Marrickville Council to see if they would be interested in implementing one or more of them….in time….when they are able….

ADOPT A TREE

Today I discovered a charity where one could ‘adopt a word’ for the cost of around A$50.  This was a surprisingly brilliant idea by some creative person. It is quite successful & people are buying words.  If people enthusiastically embrace a program where they get a word, imagine how much more fulfilling it would be to adopt a living, breathing, beautiful green tree, which you & your family could watch grow over the years & hopefully the generations.  For me to buy a word, I would have to want to support the charity.  But to buy a tree would require no other particular reason & is far more tangible than a word.  Maybe others in our community would feel the same.

Council can generate further funds to plant trees by establishing an ‘Adopt a Tree’ program.  This could allow Council to plant a greater number of trees within the LGA.  The money may allow Council to plant larger saplings, as they do in New York City, which will give the trees a better chance of survival.  A ceremony inviting all the ‘Adopters’ could be held & a plaque could be put in place.  I think that programs like this would support councils financially & would allow the establishment of small urban forests.

Council could provide a certificate of ‘ownership’ of the tree, giving details of the tree species, interesting facts about the particular tree, estimates about how much CO2 the tree sequesters annually as its trunk grows & the location where it was planted.  The cost of this could be factored in to the cost of adopting a tree.

‘Adopters’ could be encouraged to look after the tree while it is very young & until it is established.  An instructional pamphlet can be part of the package.  I can quite easily imagine a family taking a walk to water their new sapling or schools doing the same.

GIFTS CERTIFICATE FOR A TREE

We can go to a nursery to buy a tree for someone as a present, but imagine if we could buy a public tree from Council.  Council could plant the tree for us or hold regular planting days when we each plant our own tree.  This program could be similar as adopting a tree with certificates of ownership as already discussed.

CELEBRATING MAJOR DATES OF MARRICKVILLE SUBURBS WITHIN THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA BY PLANTING AN AVENUE OR A GROVE OF TREES

One side of Memorial row of trees planted at the end of WW2

There must be landmark dates that Council could promote to encourage the community to participate in the planting of a grove of trees.  Council could be more formal by planting a Commemorative Avenue of trees.  Speeches go well with events like these as does school involvement, burying a time capsule, laying a Foundation Stone etc.  These dates could increase a sense of belonging & pride in our community.

I have written down other ideas, but to keep the size of this post reasonable, I will post Part 2 in a couple of days if there is nothing more important to report.

I was driving from Sydenham the other day & saw a stretch of new tree plantings along a particularly barren section of Marrickville Road just where the road curves and before the left hand turn into Fraser Park.  Many holes have been cut into the concrete footpath & young trees have been planted.

So today, during a break in the rain, we went there to take some photos to add to this post. We were walking along discussing the new trees & the wonderful planting done above our heads along the goods train line when a car mounted the footpath crashing into one of the newly planted trees right in front of us.  The car, which was travelling about 50km/hr, only stopped because the stakes that were bracing the sapling was sufficiently strong enough to act as a bollard.  If the car had been going any faster or had hit the footpath at a different angle, we would have been knocked down or pinned between the car & the brick wall of the goods line.

In a moment, a post about new tree planting became a post about how tree planting saved us from serious injury & perhaps death.

Firewheel saplings along Marrickville Road

Firewheel saplings along Marrickville Road

This event clearly demonstrated that street trees do actually keep pedestrians safer by forming a barrier between the pedestrians & passing vehicles. Research has also shown that drivers slow down if there is a significant canopy overhead because they perceive the road as smaller.  Less speed means less accidents & less damage if there are accidents.

I think most people would agree that street trees are more beautiful than bollards or steel barriers.  If the right species of tree are planted, street trees provide food & homes for birds & small native animals.  Their shade also prolongs the life of road surfaces & footpaths though I acknowledge that the roots of trees, especially older trees, can lift concrete footpaths.  This is easily dealt with by not concreting so close to the tree & by replacing concrete with permeable footpath material near older trees.  Councils on Sydney’s North take this option routinely, rather than remove their large trees.

Back to Marrickville Road.  The sapling itself is miraculously unbroken.  It just bent over with the stakes as the car hit.  We did the best we could to reposition both the sapling & the stakes, but the stakes could do with being hammered in & made strong again.  The car was able to drive away & didn’t sustain too much damage, though I think driver & passenger were quite shocked.  I think we all left thinking the whole incident could have been far worse.

Firewheel saplings

Close up of Firewheel saplings

Marrickville Council has planted 11 trees in this section.  I think they are Firewheel trees.  A little further along they have planted another 2 trees & it appears they intend to plant more trees as the space is certainly available.  Cutting out holes in concrete is a big job so I am not surprised they have not completed the job.  This area will look lovely when the trees have grown.  It is an ugly area of Marrickville so it will certainly benefit from a greener outlook.  I hope Council intends to do both sides of this section of Marrickville Road as well as the area near the bridge at Sydenham & nearer the railway line.

The Firewheel tree is a native of both QLD & Northern NSW.  Interestingly, the Los Angeles Department of Recreation & Parks describes the Firewheel as a fragile tree as well as a heritage tree.  They say “Preserving these treasures is important for future generations to admire.” I like their attitude.

For tree lovers, the Firewheel (Stenocarpus sinuatus) is a rainforest tree.  It can grow up to 30 metres in rainforests, but in gardens it grows up to 6-10 metres.  It has a 2-3 metre canopy making it easy to see why Marrickville Council likes it.  Being a rainforest tree it does need water, especially while it is growing.  I noticed that, unlike Ashfield Council, Marrickville Council does not add a watering pipe down to the roots when planting, nor have I seen Council workers watering street trees. Perhaps residents can water trees outside their homes, especially in summer when they can become stressed.

The Inner West Courier newspaper published another letter about the Mackey Park Figs on 29th September 09.  You can read it by going to the ‘Media articles’ page which can be accessed in the left hand column on this site.

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